Icelanders happier with life at home than before financial crash

According to university researchers, Icelanders are generally happier in their family lives now than before the financial crash. It is thought that shorter working hours and men doing more of the household chores are big reasons for the change.

According to the head of the University of Iceland sociology department, Gudbjorg Andrea Jonsdottir, the results are encouraging, but financial difficulties faced by many households are still a major problem.

“It seems that people’s difficulties in making ends meet are still increasing. Meaning that household finances seem to still be getting worse,” Jonsdottir told RUV.

In 2005 57 out of every 100  households surveyed said they were in an acceptable financial position. That figure has now dropped to one third.

The Well-being of children generally does not seem to have changed much after the collapse, but there is a specific group of children who seem to need special attention.

“And that is especially children who come from the least wealthy families; in other words where the financial difficulties are most. This means that those children talk a little bit about feeling worse than other children,” Jonsdottir explains.

Icelanders generally seem to be happier now than before the financial bubble burst in 2008. 98 percent of people surveyed said they are generally happy in 2009 and 2010.

The lowest earners in society are by far the least happy group; but all groups are happier now than in the 2005 survey. Jonsdottir says that Icelanders have always placed great importance on family and friendhip:

There now seems to be even more emphasis on that and it is likely that this reduces the negative impacts of poor finances, she explains.

Gudbjorg Jonsdottir and other sociologists have come to the conclusion that fewer working hours and more even distribution of housework among the sexes are the main reasons behind increasing satisfaction with home life.

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