English title: Age, unemployment, and life satisfaction in Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Sweden

Author(s): Anu Realo - Henrik Dobewall -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2011


We examine life satisfaction on Estonia, and Latvia over the past 20 years in comparison to two neighboring Northern European countries - Finland and Sweden. Our findings indicate that life satisfaction in Estonia and Latvia over the period of the past 20 years has constantly been at a lower level than in Finland and Sweden with the mean level differences between the four countries being most likely due to political and socio-economic factors. In countries with stable political and economic environments (such as Finland and Sweden), life satisfaction is quite stable across the lifespan. In Estonia and Latvia, however, the young¬est people (those aged 15-20 years) are remarkably hap¬pier than older people, and are almost as satisfied with their lives as their contemporaries in Finland and Sweden. Unemployment has a detrimental effect on life satisfaction - the dramatic upsurge in the (aged 21-25 years) unemployment rate among young people in Estonia and Latvia may have affected young people's life satisfaction, which has noticeably dropped since the economic crisis hit the countries in 2008. Future research will show in which direction the life satisfaction trends will develop over the next years.

From page no: 88

To page no: 90

Anthology: Estonian Human Development Report 2010/2011. Baltic Way(s) of Human Development:: Twenty Years On

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