NAB: Australians are increasingly anxious, harming our overall wellbeing

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Australians are feeling happier, and know what makes them happy, but it appears overall wellbeing is continuing decline according to the National Australia Bank’s (NAB) latest quarterly wellbeing survey, released today.

NAB’s wellbeing index fell 0.3pts to 62.7 points in the June quarter.

According to the NAB, heightened levels of anxiety and lower life satisfaction, offset increases in happiness, and life worth over the quarter.

Wellbeing fell in New South Wales, the ACT, South Australia, Northern Territory and Tasmania, but rose in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. In terms of overall wellbeing, Tasmanians recorded the highest levels, while NSW and the ACT were the lowest.

The NAB also discovered wellbeing was higher for women than men; those in capital cities; high income earners; widows; 2 person households; no children; and professionals.

While they say that money can’t buy you happiness, as the chart below shows, it seems to be able to provide greater levels of personal wellbeing.

While 22% of respondents reported that their level of happiness was “high” compared to 17% who saw it as “very low”, there were some concerning trends in other areas of the survey.

18.5% of respondents reported their life satisfaction was “very low” while 40% of people suggested their personal anxiety levels were “high”, significantly greater than those who saw their life satisfaction as “high” and anxiety levels as “low”

So with overall wellbeing continuing to slide, how can it be addressed?

Based on the NAB’s research wellbeing was “most positively influenced” by family and personal relationships, your home, personal safety and your local community while events such as victimisation, substance abuse and a lack of time, detracting the most.

The chart below shows the greatest influences on personal wellbeing, both positive and negative.

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