How happy are Estonian men?

XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival.
XIII Youth Song and Dance Festival. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

International Men's Day is marked today, November 19, but how happy is the average Estonian man?

Epp Remmelg, leading analyst at Statistics Estonia, took the opportunity to crunch the numbers in a blog post for the agency.

In the Estonian Social Survey conducted in 2022, people aged 15 and over were asked how often they had felt happy and how often lonely in the past four weeks.

Estonian women were found to feel happy a bit more often than men. However, Estonian men feel slightly less lonely than women. Around 5 percent of the inhabitants of Estonia always feel happy. Two in five Estonian men report being happy most of the time.

Born to be happy

Happiness seems to come naturally to some people – it appears that there are those who know how to be happy all through life, Remmelg writes. 

The share of men who report feeling happy all the time does not change significantly with age, hovering between 5–6.5 percent in all age groups.

It also turns out that the sense of happiness does not increase with life experience and wisdom that comes with age.

In fact, the number of men who indicate feeling happy most of the time declines with age. While one in two men feel happy most of the time when they are young, only 28 percent of men feel this way when they reach retirement age.

Frequency of happiness among men, by age group Source: Statistics Estonia / Estonian Social Survey

Having a partner and children increases happiness

The frequency of happiness is significantly boosted by being in an intimate relationship and even more so by having children in the family, the survey shows.

36 percent of single men indicate feeling happy all or most of the time. Having a partner and children adds to the feeling of happiness to such an extent that as many as 56 percent of these men report being happy always or most of the time.

Taking a look at the happiness of men in a couple relationship without children, we see that younger men, under 65, are happier (51 percent) than older men, but slightly less happy than family men with children.

Frequency of happiness among men, by type of household. Source: Statistics Estonia / Estonian Social Survey

The Estonian Social Survey helps to assess household and individual income distribution, living conditions, and social exclusion. The survey is conducted across all EU member states


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Editor: Helen Wright

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