Posts tagged with "US Bureau of Labor Statistics"

Women thrive without children or a spouse, says happiness expert

June 3, 2019

We may have suspected it already, but now the science backs it up: Unmarried and childless women are the happiest subgroup in the population, based on the latest evidence. And they are more likely to live longer than their married and child-rearing peers, according to a leading “happiness expert.”

But that’s only true for women; men benefit from a successful marriage and family.

Speaking at the Hay Festival of Literature & Arts in Hay-on Wye in Wales on Saturday, May 25, Paul Dolan, a professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics, said that the latest evidence shows that traditional measures of social success—in particular, marriage and child-raising—do not correlate with happiness, The Guardian reports.

“We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: If you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother.”

Men benefited from marriage because they “calmed down”, he said. “You take [fewer] risks, you earn more money at work, and you live a little longer. She, on the other hand, has to put up with that, and dies sooner than if she never married. The healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children,” he said.

Dolan’s latest book, Happy Ever After, cites evidence from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS), conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which compared levels of pleasure and misery in unmarried, married, divorced, separated, and widowed individuals.

Despite the benefits of a single, childless lifestyle for women, Dolan said that the existing narrative that marriage and children were signs of success meant that the stigma could lead some single women to feel unhappy.

“You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children: ‘Bless, that’s a shame, isn’t it? Maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change.’ No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”

Research contact: @guardian

The West is best for sleep

January 3, 2018

Do you want to catch a few Zs? Go West, young man (or young woman). The five cities nationwide rated tops for a good night’s sleep all are west of the Mississippi (in order from number-one down): Colorado Springs, Colorado; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Boise, Idaho; Portland, Oregon; and Lincoln Nebraska.

That’s according to research results released in December by Tuck—a community for “advancing better sleep.”

The five worst are all on the East Coast: Detroit, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey, Birmingham, Alabama; Cleveland, Ohio; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. And the all-time winner is—you guessed it—the “city that never sleeps”: New York, New York.

According to Tuck, a variety of factors impact how well we sleep, from our personal health and happiness, to environmental factors such air and noise pollution.

To determine the best and worst cities for sleep in the United States, Tuck looked at how cities rank on different factors related to sleep, including:

  • Sleep deprivation: Using 2014 survey data, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that 35.2% of Americans don’t get sufficient sleep on a regular basis. Hawaii reported the lowest levels of adequate sleep (at 56%), while South Dakota got the most sleep (at 72%). People living in the southeastern part of the United States and Appalachia reported the lowest amounts of sleep,
  • Obesity rates: More than one-third of American adults are obese, according to the CDC—a risk factor for higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and snoring, which interfere with sleep.
  • Unemployment rate: The researchers referenced the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics state unemployment numbers for June 2017, when the the national unemployment rate was 4.4%. Depression is linked to unemployment—and can result in both insomnia and disturbed sleep. The opposite also is true: Workaholics tend to suffer from sleep disorders.
  • Commute time: The average American spends 25.5 minutes each way commuting to work. How does your commute time impact your sleep? Workers with shorter commute times tend to be more productive and report more job satisfaction. Happier people fall asleep more easily. Tuck relied on a study by real estate website Trulia, which determined the average commute times for 50 major metropolitan areas.
  • Air quality: Allergies and asthma are risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea. In addition, air pollution makes it tougher to exercise outside—and lack of exercise can interfere with sleep. Each year, the American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report lists the 25 cleanest and the 25 most polluted cities, based on levels of ozone; as well as short-term particle, and year-round particle, pollution.
  •  Light pollution: Light pollution interferes with your body’s circadian rhythms; confusing your brain about when it’s time to release hormones like melatonin, which induce sleep. Over 99% of Americans live under light-polluted skies—especially in the large cities along the Eastern seaboard.
  • Ongoing construction: Finally, many American cities are in a period of growth right now. While this bodes well for the economy, it’s not so great for sleep.

 Research contact: @keithcushner