Salary vs. happiness analysis: who are the happy outliers?

Salary versus happiness

Using data sourced from the Cabinet Office’s Wellbeing and Policy Report we analysed the relationship between salary and happiness. An interactive visualisation* of the data can be found here – toggle between story and explore modes to compare your occupation or sector with others. 
The analysis, which looked at average salaries and life satisfaction ratings for 35-50 year olds, revealed a group of ‘happy outliers’ - people on low salaries who are happier than others who earn significantly more.
  • Fitness instructors, who take home an average of £10,378 per year, are actually happier than lawyers who earn an average of £75,399. 
  • Dental nurses, who earn an average of £15,024, were found to be happier than dentists who make an average of £53,567.
  • School secretaries are actually happier than actuaries, even though they earn an average of £15,614 and £61,584 per year respectively. 
The survey also revealed that the clergy is the happiest outlying sector, followed closely by secretarial, education, agriculture, and administration. 

*Please note if you are viewing the data in Internet Explorer 8 you will see a static annotated version. You will need to switch or upgrade your browser to access the fully interactive version.