Pre-war Britons 'were happier'

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British people were happier in the depression of the 1930s than they are now, researchers have claimed. The Cardiff University team said that people were more content in pre-war Britain, despite poorer living standards and more unemployment.

Professor Mansel Aylward, who led the study, said health care and wages had improved in the last 70 years, but expectations had also gone up.

But historian Dr John Davies said life in the 1930s was "less comfortable".

Around 500 people of all ages were interviewed in the survey, which is part of a five-year study into happiness and health at the university's school of psychology.

Professor Mansel Aylward, 62, said: "The evidence so far and from other research we've looked at shows levels of happiness have not increased since the 1930s.

"When measures of happiness were first introduced in 1950 and we compare them with what we are getting now, clearly the society of today is very much less happy.

"If you go back to the 1930s and look at the sorts of issues that are commonly been associated with people being happy, then it is very likely people were more content, even with more difficult lives, in the 1930s.

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