Overall life satisfaction



Overall life satisfaction

Why does this matter

Considering both subjective and objective measures of what matters to people in Australia is important to understanding wellbeing.

Overall life satisfaction is a summary measure of subjective wellbeing, reflecting how satisfied people are feeling with their lives in general.

Has there been progress

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) General Social Survey attempts to measure life satisfaction on a scale ranging from 0 to 10, where 0 means ‘not at all satisfied’ and 10 means ‘completely satisfied’. Results generally reflect a person’s experience in the past 12 months and their expectations for the future.

Between 2014 and 2020 the average overall life satisfaction in Australia (out of 10) was relatively stable at around 7.5 between 2014 to 2019 before decline slightly to 7.2 in 2020. The shift is likely to be associated with the impact of the COVID‑19 pandemic on general wellbeing.

How does this differ across cohorts

Across different age groups, Australians 70 years and over have consistently had the highest level of average overall life satisfaction. Men and women reported similar levels of life satisfaction each year. People with disability have consistently had a lower average life satisfaction score than people with no disability, with an average difference of 0.7 points across the years. Similarly, average life satisfaction was comparatively lower compared to the general population for people with long term health condition (6.9), a mental health condition (5.8).