Happiness and occupation in the Netherlands

Based on the data from almost 40,000 respondents in the Netherlands, gathered in 2009 and 2010, the study concludes that it is possible to tell that there are differences in happiness between occupations.

Download PDF:

Leeuwen, J.V. (2011). Geluk & Beroep in Nederland, Oktober 2011. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Master Sociologie Arbeid, Organisatie en Management.

Summary:

Based on the data from almost 40,000 respondents in the Netherlands, gathered in 2009 and 2010, the study concludes that it is possible to tell that there are differences in happiness between occupations. Moreover, there are also differences in happiness when a selection is made, based on personal characteristics, within groups and between groups. Based on the whole dataset, ship deck crews and related workers are the happiest people. Refuse workers are the least happy.

 

At the age of twelve, most people are making their first choice for their later career, in the Netherlands. At that moment they choose a level and the direction of their education. In order to make this choice, they think about many things, but most of the time, happiness is not one of them. This is strange, because you expect that happiness is important for people. In this research the possibility to predict happiness in different occupations is investigated. To be able to make this prediction, different personal characteristics, like gender and age are taken into account. Earlier research has shown that there are differences in happiness across a selection of twelve occupations. Compared to that research, this research takes 130 occupations and compares personal characteristics within and across these occupations.
Happiness has been defined as satisfaction with life as a whole.

The research takes as a starting point that there is a difference in happiness between occupations and that the occupation influences the happiness of people. The personal characteristics that are used in this research are gender, age, educational level and living with or without children. The occupations are based on ISCO-03 (International standard classification of occupations, 3 digits level) . The research is based on data of the Dutch branch of the WageIndicator from 2008 and 2009. This set of data has N=191.516 respondents. A selection has
been made, which results in N=39.405 respondents for this research.
Each occupation has a minimum of 10 respondents available to account for the mean of that occupation. There are differences in the number of respondents in each group, because of the selection of the minimum of 10 respondents.

Unfortunately it is not possible to formulate an answer on the research question based on the available data. But it is possible to tell that there are differences in happiness in different occupations. There are also differences in happiness when a selection is made, based on personal characteristics, within groups and between groups. However when the personal characteristics are compared, the available respondents of each occupation are too small to base conclusions on the results.

Based on the whole dataset, ship deck crews and related workers, with a mean of 8.11, are the happiest people. Refuse workers, with a mean of 6.42, are the least happy.


Loading...