Research Paper

Journal of Happiness Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 523-538

First online:

Children and Life Satisfaction

  • Luis AngelesAffiliated withDepartment of Economics, University of Glasgow Email author 

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We investigate the relationship between having children at home and life satisfaction. Contrary to much of the literature, our results are consistent with an effect of children on life satisfaction that is positive, large and increasing in the number of children. The effect, however, is contingent on the individual’s characteristics. In particular, our findings are consistent with children making married people better off, while most unmarried individuals appear to be worse off with children. We also analyze the role of factors such as gender, age, income and education.


Life satisfaction Happiness Children Marital status British household panel survey (BHPS)