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Belgians are feeling happier – except for young people

13:53 18/03/2023

The average Belgian is almost as happy as they were before the pandemic, according to the results of the 2023 National Happiness Survey conducted by insurance agency NN and Ghent University.

Despite this, people between the ages of 18 and 34 continue to report lower levels and happiness than the rest of the population.

Before the pandemic hit, Belgians reported an average score of 6.7 out of 10 in the annual happiness survey.

That number dropped steeply during the crisis, reaching its lowest point of 6.2 in December 2020 during the pandemic’s second wave.

Eight months after the end of Belgium’s anti-Covid-19 measures, the score has risen back to 6.6 out of 10.

Despite this rise in self-reported happiness, young people’s happiness levels continue to decline, the survey revealed.

This may be linked to other worrying figures listed in the report: Belgians’ level of confidence in politics has reached a new low at just three out of 10.

Confidence in the media and the judicial system – 4.3 and 4.5, respectively – are also at alarming lows.

According to the report, there may be a connection. “There is a clear link between our happiness and our confidence in politics and in others,” NN said.

“The World Happiness Report, published annually by the United Nations, showed last year that in the happiest countries, people expressed high levels of trust in politics and in each other.”

Written by Paul Millar