The next generation will not be so happy

Many people raised an eyebrow when they heard about the government’s aim to discover the level of happiness among the population, with the launch last year of the Office for National Statistics’ Well Being Project.

Was this an attempt to gain political advantage when calling elections?

The result has been quite different, with many groups of economists pointing to work over the decades which collaborates happiness with economic indicators such as consumption and saving ratios.

The initiative has also prompted other organisations to conduct related surveys, such as that for British Airways’ Business Life in-flight magazine.

This concludes that the perfect age is 70, with those at this age or approaching it enjoying the benefits of good pensions, property price inflation and of course good health.

Whether you believe the research or not there is increasing evidence that the generation next to reach 70 are unlikely to rank as being the happiest.

The squeezed middle will not have the gold-plated pensions, property portfolios and savings accounts. Working longer and supporting others, members of this group are the ones most likely to need to make their assets work hard for them.

As the demographics change so should our marketing and products. Whether we see a generation of Victor Meldrews coming through only time will tell.