Home ownership can lead to higher levels of well-being, according to data from the OECD Better Life Index, which gauges the quality of life worldwide by factoring in such things like housing, jobs, civic engagement, health and safety.
The heightened sense of happiness that comes from home ownership may be more than just getting a new home but more closely tied to the basic need for shelter, says Aida Caldera Sanchez and Caroline Tassot, authors of an analysis about the index. Also, home ownership can lead to status and independence – qualities that often are linked to happiness, their analysis shows.
On the well-being index, housing outperformed all the all other indicators monitored – like education, safety, and environment – by the highest amount in the Midwest, with 75 percent of the states ranking housing as most important to happiness. In the South, housing tops all other indicators in 70.6 percent of the states, and in the West housing was tops in only 15 percent of the states compared to the other indicators.
View how housing stacks up in your area at the OCED Regional Well-being website.