Survey Reveals Children With Smartphones, iPads and TVs Aren’t Happier Than Those Without

A survey conducted by Norway-based Children’s World Survey has found no correlation between a child’s possessions and overall happiness

The study looked at whether children between the ages of 10 and 12 in 15 countries had access to nine things – good clothes, a computer, internet access, a mobile phone, their own room, books, a family car, a music player, and a TV – and determined having or not having these inanimate objects played no role in life satisfaction.

Norwegian kids had access to six more things than kids in Ethiopia, for example, and were pretty much identically happy.

Elisabeth Backe-Hansen, lead researcher for the CWS, offered the most plausible explanation for the findings: “Children tend to be more optimistic in life.”

The problem, of course, is that this optimism fades as children age, and a look at the overall satisfaction of adults reveals a connection between having material possessions and happiness.

Adults in Ethiopa, Nepal and South Africa – where children generally lacked the most items – ranked at the very bottom in relative happiness of countries surveyed. Meanwhile, adults in economically powerful countries – Norway, England, Germany – reported the highest levels of relative happiness. 

A detailed report can be found here, which unfortunately does suggest at which age we shall become material consumers and transition from child to adolescent at optimal satisfaction. 


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