London: Education does make you happier even if it may not make you richer, says a first of its kind study making a direct comparison between happiness and learning.

 The study by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in the UK found that the higher people's level of general education the more satisfied they were with their daily life and the more worthwhile they felt.

The survey asked more than 15,000 people to rate how satisfied they felt overall on a scale of naught to 10 as well as asking them how worthwhile they felt their lives were.

Almost 81 per cent of people with A levels or equivalent qualifications were very satisfied, meaning that they rated their happiness levels at seven or above.

But among those in the next educational group down who had NVQ Level two qualifications or equivalent the levels fell to 74 per cent, reported.

Among trade apprentices it fell to 67 per cent and only 64 per cent of those with no qualifications were very satisfied, the survey found.

When people were asked how worthwhile they felt their lives were the contrast was even more stark, almost 85 per cent with A levels reported higher levels of self-worth compared to only 62 per cent of those with no qualifications.

"This suggests that adults aged 16 and over with higher levels of qualifications are more likely to report having medium or high satisfaction with their lives overall and also to report finding the things they do in their lives to be more worthwhile," the ONS said.

"It must be remembered that there are also other variables which may affect these results, such as age, income, type of employment, employment status and the individual's health."

Jill Stokoe, education policy adviser at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: "We are pleased the ONS report highlights the importance of education in improving the wellbeing of both young and older people.

"It makes it particularly shameful and foolish that the Coalition Government is restricting adults' access to learning by cutting funding." 

(Agencies)

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