Search icon


29th Aug 2021

Unmarried women with no kids are the ‘healthiest and happiest population subgroup’

unmarried women with no kids are healthier and happier

Give us all the cats and plants!

If you have ever encountered pressure from family or society at large to rush towards the alter or motherhood – because yes, there is still this notion that women need both or at least either to be happy and live a purposeful life – you just need to forward them this.

Why? Because according to Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics, the ‘healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children.”

Yep, that’s right.

Speaking to The Guardian, Dolan explains that while “married people are happier than other population subgroups,” that apparently only applies to “when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are.”

However, interestingly, this changes when your spouse leaves the room.

In his book Happy Ever After: Escaping the Myths of the Perfect Life – Dolan explains he used data from the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) that polled different types of people — single, married, separates, divorced and widowed — to compare happiness levels.

But while it turned out that women are happier without husbands and kids, the opposite turned out to be true for men.

Men, interestingly, got more of a benefit from marriage and family life as they – in Dolan’s words – “calmed down” after walking down the aisle.

“You take less risks, you earn more money at work and you live a little longer,” he said.

Women, on the other hand, Dolan explains, have to put up with that, and dies sooner than if they had never married.

“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.”

Oh, and the evidence doesn’t even end there.

According to The Guardian, statistics also show that there are more ‘mental and physical ailments’ among middle-aged women who were married as opposed to their single counterparts.

“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,’” says Dolan.

“No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change,” he added. “Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”