An analysis of survey data from Europe has shown that the happiest people are those who live in rural Ireland and are over 65. 

The answer to true happiness has been under our nose this whole time, and we've been off buying big TVs and fancy cars instead of paying attention to it: to be really, truly happy, you just need to be over 65 and live in rural Ireland. 

That is according to The Irish Times at least, as they report that new data shows that, in responses from 2,500 people in a European Social Survey, those who were over 65 but "not unemployed", and had children and religion as part of their daily lives were the happiest. There also seemed to be no difference between men and women when it came to happiness either.

UCC economics lecturer Dr Edel Walsh presented the findings at the Irish Society of New Economists’ conference in NUI Galway, and pointed out that the over 65s were happier, but it was also important that they had regular social contact too. 

The data dates back to 2010, during the depths of the recession, so gives some idea of exactly how much personal finances can influence your state of happiness, with the results showing that income had a “significant” but “modest” impact on satisfaction, while unemployment had a "significant negative effect”.

As for the least satisfied people? Well, it turns out that being in your 30s and 40s is no craic, while being either young and carefree or older and wiser make for a happier life. 

Via The Irish Times. Main pic via RTE