The Happiness Project (November 2023)

2 Minutes Read

True happiness is... to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.

Now, I am sure Seneca knew his stuff and no doubt had his own challenges in life, but how does this maxim apply to modern Australia, and does it really help us understand our Gross National Happiness? 

For those who want to watch the Video, click here

This is our second release of The Happiness Report following our first edition, which we shared in July this year.  The good news is that we've increased our national happiness since then, although it dropped off a little in October.  This may be a little surprising given the constant media focus on negative doom porn, but the reality is that most people are happy and that their lives are generally pretty good.  Of course, this score is an 'average', and what lurks beneath is a group of unhappy people. In this edition, we've really dug into that group and sought to unpack what's happening using the power of our EVETM Conversational AI and Text Explorer analytics.  

Things were on the up between June and September 2023


When we compare results year on year (year to date and for October), it is pretty clear that we've finally moved on from COVID. Conversations this year reveal Australian's are getting out more, enjoying food, exercising and spending time with families.  This has lifted the overall national mood.  Yet, despite getting past COVID, one in five Australians are unhappy (rate their happiness 50 or less out of 100). Here is how it looks visually.

About The Happiness Project

Older people are by and large happier than younger people.  Gen-Z are less happy.  For example, whilst one in five people are unhappy overall, the figure in Gen-Z is one in four.  Positively, Gen-Z are improving the most, even to the point where they caught up with Mum and Dad in Gen-X.  It's great they are improving, but the question is "why is a group of Gen-Z so unhappy?"

This brings us to the major thrust of our findings in this edition, which is that for a significant minority, especially Gen-Z, it is money that drives much of the unhappiness.  Using text analytics, we can see that the group of Gen-Z with negative sentiment are significantly more likely to mention finance when compared to Boomers, as a reference group.  For Gen-Z, financial factors relate to the pressures of rising costs of living, expensive education and for some the costs of young children at a life stage before they have reached maximum earnings potential.  Of particular note is that women in Gen-Z are significantly less happy than men.

Here is an example conversation of the financial pressures that people in this generation face.

To summarise, whilst this edition of The Happiness Report is focused on unhappiness, it reveals a truth; that in modern Australia we have winners and losers.  Never has it been more important for Government to look at our collective wellbeing and develop effective policy to help us all be happy.

About The Happiness Report

Evolved commenced developing Conversational AI back in 2019.  Developing this technology required a lot of test conversations between EVE and humans.  Around that time, we started asking a random sample of 1,000 Australians every month how they felt about their last 24 hours and to chat with EVE about those feelings.  

If you would like to access our full complimentary report, please download the PDF here

If you are interested in trialling Text Explorer, click here or speak with your account team.

Picture of Garreth Chandler

Garreth Chandler

Garreth is the founding partner of the Evolved Group and head of consulting at Evolved Thinking. Garreth’s passions are technology, buyer behaviour and organisational theory.