For years, social scientists have known that nonparents are happier than parents. Study after study has confirmed the troubling findingthat having kids makes you less happy than your child-free peers.
Now new research helps explain the parental happiness gap, suggesting it’s less about the children and more about family support in the country where you live.
Based on data from 22 countries and two international surveys of well-being, researchers found that American parents face the largest happiness shortfall compared to people who don’t have children. The happiness gap between parents and nonparents in the United States is significantly larger than the gap found in other industrialized nations, including Great Britain and Australia. And in other Western countries, the happiness gap is nonexistent or even reversed. Parents in Norway, Sweden and Finland — and Russia and Hungary — report even greater levels of happiness than their childless peers