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The relationship between gender and life satisfaction: analysis across demographic groups and global regions

Abstract

This study sought to examine gender differences in life satisfaction globally and across demographic groups. The grouping variables included age, global region, marital status, employment status, education, and income. A sample of 1,801,417 participants across 166 countries was drawn from the Gallup World Poll. Given the hierarchical nature of the data, multi-level modeling was used for data analysis. Gender differences in life satisfaction were found to be significant yet small. Women reported higher levels of life satisfaction than men across all income, education, and employment groups. The direction of gender differences in life satisfaction was inconsistent across age and regional groups. Men scored higher than women only over the age of about 63, and in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the less favorable objective conditions for women globally, women were found to be more satisfied with their lives than men across most of the groups we studied. It is hoped that the present results can be used to inform research and practice aiming to identify vulnerable female groups and to optimize the well-being of women globally.

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Data availability

For more information about the data file used in this study, see Gallup’s official website: http://www.gallup.com/178667/gallup-world-poll-work.aspx.

Notes

  1. 1.

    People older than 99 are also coded as 99 in the GWP. In the whole GWP sample, 581 participants are coded as 99.

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Correspondence to Mohsen Joshanloo.

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Joshanloo, M., Jovanović, V. The relationship between gender and life satisfaction: analysis across demographic groups and global regions. Arch Womens Ment Health (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00737-019-00998-w

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Keywords

  • Gender
  • Life satisfaction
  • Age
  • Subjective well-being
  • Gallup World Poll