Olympics create happiness boost

The success of Team GB appears to have had a positive effect on the nation, with new research revealing people were happier during the Olympics than the month before.

A poll of 2,000 people, as part of the monthly Which? consumer tracker, shows a significant jump in life satisfaction during the Olympic period.
In the latest poll, the number of people saying they were satisfied with life overall increased to 62% during the first week of the Olympics from 53% in June.

The survey also shows increased satisfaction with specific areas of life. People this month say they are more satisfied with their household income, standard of living and leisure time than they were in June.

Richard Lloyd, Which? executive director said:

“A sharp increase in life satisfaction so quickly suggests an Olympic boost to our happiness. A growing Team GB medal-haul and the community spirit as friends, family and communities enjoy the Games, all seem to have bolstered people’s confidence and, quite simply, made them feel happier.

“Unfortunately this optimism isn’t reflected when it comes to the wider economy, with 72% of people describing the UK economy as poor, and only one in five expecting it to get better in the next year.”

The Which? consumer tracker is one element of the new Which? Quarterly Consumer Report, a new series monitoring how people feel about the current financial situation. It also includes a new Spending Power Index which tracks month on month changes in consumer purchasing power. This quarter the Index concludes an ongoing decline in standard of living over the last 12 months (-0.9%).
Notes to Editors

  1. The first Which? Quarterly Consumer Report is available here.
  2. Our latest Which? consumer tracker survey was run by Populus, who interviewed 2003 GB adults online between 31st July and 2nd August 2012. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all GB adults. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.


Life satisfaction

  • When asked, 62% of people are ‘satisfied with life overall’, up from 53% in June.
  • 53% of people are dissatisfied with the direction of the UK as a whole, compared to 60% in June.
  • 61% of people are satisfied with their household’s standard of living, compared to 55% in June.
  • 43% of people are satisfied with their household income, compared to 38% in June.

Financial circumstances & the economy

  • 43% describe their personal financial situation as good, compared to 37% in June.
  • 72% of people describe the UK economy as poor, compared to 76% in June
  • 20% of people think that the economy will get better, compared to 16% in June.

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