Happiness is hard to measure and comes in different forms for everyone, even Lady Gaga. In Australia, after 15 years of research, they’ve been able to conclude that on the whole, Australians are pretty happy thanks to three key elements dubbed the golden triangle: financial security, good relationships and a sense of purpose.


However, these three elements must work together in order to achieve happiness. They can’t be isolated from each other. The study found relationships (meaning anyone who is reliable and who you can share your fears and successes with, not necessarily a significant other) were most important to achieving the golden triangle, although younger singles, older widows and married couples tended to be the happiest.


While income was important, it wasn’t everything. Low-income participants reported being happy as long as they were in control of their finances. For those that make under $100,000, the closer they get to six figures, the happier they are, and once over $100,000 it’s actually harder to maintain control and therefore happiness. A sense of purpose can come from a job, volunteer work, a hobby, social activities or even parenthood, although children only increased happiness in dads while happiness in moms stayed the same (this may have something to do with a woman’s ability to connect socially).

The data was conducted by the 2015 Wellbeing of Australians study in conjunction with Deakin University and was measured by both the National Wellbeing Index and the Personal Wellbeing Index. While it’s geared toward Australians, the study can help provide some insight into happiness and the importance of balance in everything.

Download the fascinating full study here, and check out your Personal Wellbeing Index here.

Are you happy? Share your scores in the comments!

(h/t The Daily Mail; image via Getty iStock)