Resilience is a key feature of the Turkish public and it stood out in the 2021 life satisfaction survey of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
The survey’s results released on Thursday shows a rise in the number of individuals who declared they are happy in a year marked with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic difficulties stemming from high inflation. Though both extended into 2022, hope is also on the horizon for the public, as the survey results also delve into public insight for the future.
The rate of 18 and above people who declared themselves happy was 49.3% in 2021, compared to 48.2% in 2020. On the other hand, the number of people who stated they were unhappy with their lives rose to 16.6% from 14.5% in 2020.
Women were happier than men, at 54.6%, compared to 43.9%, though happiness levels rose for both genders from 2020 to 2021.
The survey also found that married people were happier compared to singles. Married women were happier than married men, while the overall happiness rate among married individuals was 54%.
As for the ages of "happy" individuals, the survey revealed that people at the age of 65 and above were the happiest among the public, at a rate of 56.2%. The least happy individuals were those between the ages of 18 and 24. In 2020, people between the ages of 35 and 44 were the least happy citizens, according to TurkStat figures.
Not ignorance but a lack of education is apparently bliss for the Turkish public as the survey shows the happiest among them are those who did not graduate from any school, be it primary or university. The results indicated that the level of life satisfaction drops in line with education level. A 51.4% of people declaring they are happy were primary school graduates while this rate was 47.8% and 47.6% for high school and university graduates, respectively.
The source of happiness for most citizens was their families. Their children made them happy, according to the survey. Being in good health was the primary cause of happiness, ahead of being loved, successful, well-off and with a good job.
People were most satisfied with the country's security. A 73.8% of people interviewed for the survey said they were satisfied with security. This is followed by high satisfaction from transportation, health, social security, education and judiciary services. Security services greatly improved in the past few years in terms of counterterrorism. No major act of terrorism was reported in the country since a 2017 nightclub shooting perpetrated by a gunman linked to the Daesh terrorist group. Improvement of transportation infrastructure is also high on the government’s agenda, with new highways, bridges, train routes and airports cutting down travel times in nearly two decades since the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party came to power.
The rate of people who expressed hope for their future was 60.7%. This figure was 62.4% among women, higher than men. TurkStat says six out of 10 people were hopeful for the future, while this was “seven out of 10 people” in 2020.