90% of people in Northern Ireland are happy with their lives, new research reveals
– 61% believe that the future will get even brighter over the next 5 years
One thousand people across Northern Ireland have taken part in a major piece of research by BT aimed at discovering what social and cultural values impact most on people aged between 18 and 74 years.
The research reveals a big difference in what the people of Northern Ireland value in their lives, with variations from county to county, and between the sexes.
What about Co. Fermanagh and Tyrone? More people in these counties rely on their mobile than any part of Northern Ireland, with more than one in three (37%) saying that they would miss their mobile more than any other appliance.
Social values are also particularly prevalent, with 58% of people admitting that their weight is an important factor in influencing their current state of happiness or unhappiness. And more than half (51 per cent) of people in these counties said that they would not date someone who smokes. Co. Fermanagh also polled the lowest results of people who were willing to consider cosmetic surgery with only one in ten stating that they would consider having a procedure.
Overall 90% of people in Northern Ireland are happy with their lives in general, with 61% believing that their quality of life has improved over the past 5 years, and the same percentage feeling it will continue to get even better in the future.
The research also found the following statistics:
· One in five think drinking is essential for an enjoyable evening but men are much more likely to agree with this than women (28% compared to 15%)
· A quarter of households, with no children, have a games console (25%)
· Single people are much more likely to use online gaming
· Over half the population would not date someone who smokes
· Only 13% of 18-24s would not consider living with someone before marriage
· Females are more attached to their mobile phones with 35% of females stating that they would miss them more than their TV compared to 24% men
· While for 61% of people life has got better over the last five years, this is very strongly correlated with age. Life for 77% of 18-24 year olds has improved while it has only got better for 40% of 55-74 year olds.
Commenting on the report, Peter Morris, Head of Consumer, BT said “Our company has changed dramatically over the past number of years – not so long ago we were the ‘telephone company’ – but our business and peoples lives have all evolved. As an integral part of our society we wanted to explore how values have changed given the extraordinary period of change of the last few years and to encourage debate on key issues affecting people’s lives in Northern Ireland.
“The research gives us a great snapshot of what people in Northern Ireland value,” said Peter Morris. “Reassuringly for BT, people value contemporary methods of communication with 70% of those surveyed using the internet and 60% having broadband at home. What has been very interesting is how people differ in their values from one county to the next and of course there are big differences between the sexes. Overall the key driver for people’s happiness is keeping in touch with family and friends (89%), but there are those who see the success of their football team as integral to their happiness with 16% stating this as the most important driver of happiness!”
Key regional findings:
* 20% of people in Co. Down would consider cosmetic surgery (14% overall)
* Humour in a person is valued more by those in Co. Armagh (55% v. 46% overall)
* 58% of people in Cos. Tyrone/Fermanagh state their weight is important in influencing their current state of happiness/unhappiness (49% overall)
* 36% of people in County Derry/Londonderry stated career/job as one of the three things they value most, compared to 24% overall.
* People in Greater Belfast value integrity in a person more than others (53% compared to 41% overall), but fewer people in Co. Armagh do (29%).
As part of the research a web address has been launch so anyone who would like to join the value debate can go on-line and express their view at www.whatdoyouvalue.co.uk .