The Morning Breeze w/ Carolyn McArdle & Cort Johnson

The Morning Breeze w/ Carolyn McArdle & Cort Johnson

The Morning Breeze on 98.1 The Breeze in San FranciscoFull Bio


Empty Nester Parents Are Happier & Healthier Than Those With Kids at Home

Excited older couple giving high five, celebrating good news

Photo: fizkes / iStock / Getty Images

While it's true that people with families tend to be happier and healthier than those without... new research is showing that the BENEFITS of being a parent don't actually kick in until the children are grown up... and have moved out.

A massive European study from back 2019 that looked at over 55,000 people 50 and older found that parents experienced significantly higher levels of life satisfaction and fewer symptoms of depression than people without children, but only after their children no longer lived with them.

What the study didn't do was compare empty nesters directly to parents with children in the home.

Nor did look at parents in the U.S.

However, another study did both things using over 4 decades of data from the U.S. General Social Survey and found that empty nesters ages 50 to 70 were 5 to 6 percent more likely to report being very happy than parents with young children living at home. 

To put it bluntly, “it is not reflected in the data that young, resident children cause happiness,” says economist Stefan Trautmann, co-author of the European study.

Read more about the studies here.

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