The Key to Happiness in Australia

This year saw Australia slip in the global rankings for happiness!? Only 1 spot, so let’s not panic!

The 2018 World Happiness Report shows Australia swapping positions with Sweden which is now in 9th place and Australia at 10th. The overall rankings of country happiness are based on the pooled results from Gallup World Poll surveys from 2015-2017. Happiness is defined by six variables: well-being, income, life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity.

This made us curious (we’re always curious at Sprout, it’s all about the human story remember?). In our annual eMotivate: Mood of Australia Study we added a new question to try and define the happiness quotient. We sought to understand how happy Australians are and what the drivers of happiness are.

Interestingly, 65% of Australians surveyed (n=3,019) stated that they are currently reasonably to very happy in their lives right now. When asked what makes them happy the top 3 drivers are family, health and financial stability.

Not only did we explicitly ask about happiness we also overlaid implicit emotional motivations using MindSight (our neuroscience tool). The key emotional motivations for Australians are Achievement, Belonging and Nurturance.

In life, above all else Australians want to feel they have achieved. Being productive and recognised for their efforts/rewarded for their efforts is important to Australians. This correlates with financial stability driving happiness, as Australians work hard to achieve financial stability to be able to live a happy life. Belonging and nurturance are social motivations and see Australians seek to feel included and part of something and cared for or able to care for others. These motivations are core to our happiness as humans as we are social beings and much of our self-esteem in generated from bonds and connections with others. These correlate with health and family being drivers of happiness, family give Australians belonging and through nurturance we are able to care for ourselves and others.

Looking across the generations, Boomers are the happiest generation of all (68% stating reasonably to very happy), their drivers mirror the total population but also include their marriage and lifestyle. Millennials are the second happiest generation (65% stating reasonably to very happy) again the drivers mirror the total population but include friendships. For Gen Z the next happiest, being excited about their futures is a key driver for happiness. The least happy generation is Gen X, for them working hard and juggling life makes things feel slightly tougher than for other generations who are either starting out in life or moving towards retirement.

The key themes that cause worry or concern for Australians are romantic relationships, working hard/having a challenging job and Uni/TAFE. As Australians seek to achieve, belong and feel nurtured these are unsurprising.

So, what does this mean from a marketing and strategy perspective, what can clients and brands do with this. Well, aiding and delivering on Australians emotional motivations in product, comms and CX development and execution will see stronger levels of emotional engagement. How can your brand make Australians feel they have achieved in life? Or are part of something? Or are cared for? Supporting Australians families will make Australians feel happier in life. In sectors such as healthcare and finance, opportunities to support Australians in bettering their health and feeling financially stable will drive happiness.

How can your brand help to make Australia happy?

Author: Kerry Dymond, Sprout Cultural Insights Specialist

If you would like more information or discuss your business challenges in the future, please contact Sprout Research +61 7 3256 9706