A study entitled “Economy and happiness: Evidence from Vietnam’s rural areas” has found that marriage makes people happier. Report by Dan Tri newspaper.

Married people in rural areas of Vietnam feel more satisfied with their lives than those who are single or never marry, and income plays a vital role in ensuring their happiness, a study found.

A prominent finding of the study entitled “Economy and happiness: Evidence from Vietnam’s rural areas” was that marriage makes people happier. Those who are divorced or separated were the most unsatisfied with their lives.

The study found that 45 percent of people in rural areas of Vietnam were relatively satisfied with their lives and 42 percent not really. The rate of those who were very happy with their lives was only 7 percent.

Professor Finn Tarp, of Copenhagen University, said: “Like several previous studies, findings showed that those who are married are happier than those who are single. However, for families that are on the verge of a break-up, separation may make them happier.”

The study also found that income plays a role family happiness. Among those who have the highest incomes, 70 percent said they “relatively” or “very” satisfied with their lives. Meanwhile, the threshold among the group of people with lower incomes was only 40 percent.

According to the findings, health, education and risk management were often tied to income.

“This means that income increases would foster family happiness if it results in improvements in health, education and risk management,” Tarp commented.

Those who do farming work on their own land tended to be happier than wage earners and those who maintain household businesses.

Similar results were recorded at all sectors and among both skilled and unskilled workers. Still, the work trend in the country is moving from agricultural towards wage-labour.

These findings are similar to those of several other studies in developed countries, which showed that income, age, health, education, marital status and social network play an important role in happiness.

Researchers made some proposals including working out incentive policies to help increase incomes, create better working conditions and increase autonomy at work.

The study was jointly conducted by researchers by the Universities of Copenhagen, Helsinki University and UNU-WIDER University, along with Vietnam's Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), and was released on November 21 in Hanoi.

It was conducted based on the survey “Vietnam Access to Resources. Household Survey (VARHS)” which was implemented in rural areas of 12 provinces nationwide between June and July last year.-VNA