In recent months, however, several studies have produced a stream of evidence that mostly points in the same direction, and also happens to overturn one of the most stubborn American stereotypes: the belief that this is a land whose gifts, charms and joys flow mostly to young people.
The studies show that when you check on how happy people are at various ages, the elderly generally come out ahead.
Since 1972, researchers have conducted 50,000 detailed interviews with Americans. The questions of the General Social Survey are repeated year after year to enable researchers to detect trends and to make comparisons among groups and to see how the same people changed over time. One asks whether they are very happy, pretty happy or not too happy.
"One important finding was people who were biologically older are happier than younger adults," said Tom W. Smith of the University of Chicago, who is the director of the General Social Survey. read entire article