The share of young adults (ages 18 to 24) rating their personal well-being with a 7 or higher fell from 70 percent in 2020 to 63 percent in 2021. As a result, this group had a lower share than the over-25s (67 percent) for the first time since measurements began in 2013. The decline is seen among young women in particular. The share with high personal well-being among young women fell from 66 to 53 percent. Among young men, the share remained virtually unchanged at 73 percent. In 2021, not only personal well-being declined, but also the percentage of young adults who said they felt happy and satisfied with life.

Personal well-being score 7 or higher
2013 64.8 54.4
2014 63.9 57.3
2015 62.6 56.7
2016 66.3 58.9
2017 71.7 60.8
2018 70.9 62.6
2019 68.5 64.3
2020 70.1 65.7
2021 62.9 67.4

Largest decline was in institutional trust

The largest decline in personal well-being among young adults was related to trust in institutions, for example in Parliament, the judiciary and the police. Whereas this trust still showed an increase between 2019 and 2020 from 53 to 64 percent, in 2021 it had returned to 52 percent, the same level as in 2019. The share with high personal well-being also declined in relation to young adults’ social life and health. Within the health dimension, the percentage of those satisfied with their own mental health decreased, from 74 to 68 percent. In the areas of education, work, and financial future as well, there was a decline in the share with high personal well-being between 2020 and 2021.

Personal well-being dimensions with scores 7 or higher
Personal Well-being Index 62.9 70.1
Education and work 88.2 91.8
Safety 82.4 81.6
Environment and living conditions 81.7 82.0
Finances 76.5 78.0
Health 73.9 80.6
Social life 71.8 79.8
Institutional trust 51.5 64.0
Financial future 49.7 54.0

Highest income groups have high personal well-being most often

In 2021, young adults in the two highest income groups were more likely to report high personal well-being (at 70 and 75 percent, respectively) than their peers in the two lower income groups (52 and 53 percent). Those in the highest income groups experienced relatively greater well-being in the areas of education and work, environment and living conditions, financial future and safety in particular.

High personal well-being by income quartile, 2021
1st (bottom)
quartile
52.2
2nd
quartile
52.7
3rd
quartile
69.1
4th (top)
quartile
74.9

By Umiddoc