The months of the corona lockdowns were tough: This can also be seen in the "Glücksatlas", a study on the life satisfaction of Germans. Now that the measures have been lifted, things are looking up again - even if war and inflation are weighing on mood.
After most corona measures were lifted, people in Germany are a little happier again - but fears of war and inflation continue to slow them down. This emerges from the "Happiness Atlas" created by the University of Freiburg with the support of the Süddeutsche Klassenlotterie (SKL). "We've bottomed out, but we still have half of the way to go," said Bernd Raffelhüschen, the scientific director of the study.
On average, people gave their life satisfaction at 6.68 on a scale of 0 to 10. Last year this value was lower at 6.58, before the 2019 pandemic it was significantly higher at 7.14. Above all, inflation and the consequences of the war had a negative effect on the satisfaction of the Germans. "In September, inflation broke the 10 percent mark. If it stays that high until December 2022, the total loss of happiness from this year's inflation should amount to 0.46 points," the statement said. "That is much."
The number of unhappy people - i.e. those who gave a value between 0 and 4 - doubled during the pandemic. This year, their share has fallen again, but not yet to the pre-pandemic level. Behind the "abstract numbers lie breaks in the biography caused by the pandemic": job losses, illnesses and the loss of people. "It is therefore important that the recovery process continues."
Satisfaction with leisure time has also improved enormously: from 5.0 in the Corona year 2021 to 6.51 in the current happiness atlas. But there is still room for improvement here: "Although there are almost no restrictions and fitness clubs are open again and leisure activities are possible, the old level has not yet been reached."
Young people have recovered the least from the restrictions of the corona pandemic. The generation born between 1995 and 2010 lost one point on the life satisfaction scale during the pandemic and has only made up about half so far.
On average, people in western Germany are a little happier than people in eastern Germany. During the pandemic, the difference in happiness between East and West has almost disappeared, it said. But recently it has grown again. "The disadvantages that the west had during the pandemic will no longer play a role in 2022: high proportions of younger people, families, city dwellers and the self-employed usually guarantee a higher level of happiness in a region."
And where do the happiest people in Germany live? According to "Glücksatlas" in Schleswig-Holstein - followed by Bavaria and North Rhine-Westphalia. The people in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania are the least satisfied.