While we appear confident about the pursuit of prosperity over the next ten years, what about the pursuit of happiness? The good news from the Future of Ireland survey is that some 42% of Irish people look forward to greater happiness in 2025; and only 12% imagine they will be less happy. Though most expect to remain as happy as they are now.
But happiness and prosperity - or, for that matter, money - are not the same thing. What are the key ingredients of future happiness in Ireland?
- Free universal healthcare (for 52%)
- Better work/life balance (50%)
- Freedom of choice (49%)
- Financial security (44%)
- Democracy and free universal education (46%)
Health of the Nation
Health is hugely important to Irish people, both at present and for the foreseeable future. While people are generally optimistic about their economic and relationship prospects, they are much less optimistic about the health of the nation in general and their own health in particular. 22% expect their health to be better by 2025, but 29% expect it to be worse. Perhaps not surprisingly, 51% of over 60s expect their health to worsen in the decade ahead. Nor are we confident about the nation’s health prospects. Only 7% think it likely that no one will be obese any more by 2025 due to better diets and fitness levels. Though 77% would welcome such an outcome.
But while many would welcome free universal healthcare, most don’t intend waiting for it before looking after their own health. Seven in ten people in the Future of Ireland survey agree that they will have to take greater responsibility for their own health and wellbeing in future rather than rely on public health services. An even higher proportion - 75% - of over 60s anticipate taking greater responsibility for their own health.
Older people are very open to new ways of managing their health and medical needs.
- 41% of over 60s have received medical advice from their children on occasion
- 54% of all Irish adults would be willing to wear technology that monitors their health and fitness in order to pay lower health insurance premiums in future
- 65% of over 60s are willing to do so
As Ireland’s population ages over the next ten years (and beyond), we can expect that health and wellbeing (and illness) will have a great weight in the evaluation of Irish happiness and quality of life both personally and collectively.
Download the full report below and take part in the conversation on our Twitter feed:@omd_fire. Don't forget to use #futureire to share your views!