Social Indicators Research

, Volume 121, Issue 1, pp 75–92 | Cite as

Subjective Wellbeing of Chinese People: A Multifaceted View

  • Yanjie BianEmail author
  • Lei Zhang
  • Jianke Yang
  • Xiaoxian Guo
  • Ming Lei


This paper reports the most recent subjective wellbeing (SWB) assessments by the respondents of the China Survey of Social Change. Of the total 10,927 respondents, 44.2 % are “always happy” and others vary from “sometimes happy” to “not happy at all”. To explain variation in SWB, the authors offer a multifaceted view taking into account the roles that personal health, demographic attributes, socioeconomic statuses, and the networks and relationships of social integration play in SWB. It is found that SWB assessments are higher for women and older persons than for men and younger persons, respectively, and they increase with improved physical and mental health, more educational and financial resources, greater social participation, wider social networks, and greater trust in others and institutions. Economic development, ethnic cultures, and religious beliefs are important factors of SWB assessments.


Subjective wellbeing Happiness China 



The research of this paper was funded by a “985” grant through the Institute for Empirical Social Science Research (IESSR) at Xi’an Jiaotong University, by a key project grant from China’s Social Science Foundation (11AZD022), and by a centrally-important project from China’s Social Science Foundation (13&ZD177). The authors are grateful to the participants in the China Survey of Social Change analyzed in this paper, and to Jieming Chen, Harley Dickinson, Yaming Hao, Peter Lee, Ming-Chang Tsai, and a unanimous reviewer for their helpful comments on the earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanjie Bian
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Lei Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jianke Yang
    • 1
  • Xiaoxian Guo
    • 1
  • Ming Lei
    • 1
  1. 1.IESSRXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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