Kiwis are a happy bunch, in spite of not having enough money, poor housing and poor health. In New Zealand’s General Social Survey of 8500 residents, one in 20 said they didn’t have enough money to pay the bills, had poor housing and poor health, but 55% of these residents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall.

Life satisfaction did increase to a whopping 98% among the one in five who had good health, enough money, good relationships, good housing and didn’t feel lonely; still it’s nice to know that the Kiwis continue to smile, even if they have gappy teeth because they can’t afford dental care.

Aucklanders struggled the most with cash, with only 47% of them saying they had enough money, compared to 58% in Wellington or Canterbury.

The overall result showed, though, that the majority of New Zealanders are satisfied with their lives.

“There’s more to life than just money,” said the survey’s manager Philip Walker. “Most New Zealanders appear to be content with their lives, with 87 percent of the population reporting they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives overall. This is above the OECD average, and similar to Australia, the United States, and Canada.”

If happiness isn’t directly affected by money, though, health appears to be. Sixty nine per cent of people in households earning more than $100,000 reported their health to be excellent or good, but this went down to 45% in households that brought home $30,000 or less. Overall, though, three in five Kiwis rated their health as excellent or very good, particularly among youngsters aged 15-24.

Housing and life for the older generation both saw improvements from previous years, with 67% reporting no major housing problems, compared to 63% in 2008 and 64% in 2010, while a huge 91% of over 65s said they were satisfied or very satisfied with their lives.

To learn from the Kiwis, the secrets of those who are happiest were over 45 (although there’s not much you can do about that), European (or that), born in New Zealand (or that), have tertiary qualifications (there you go), an annual household income of more than $100,000 (you can give it a go!), be employed (you can managed that) and be a childless couple (no screaming kids = the secret to happiness, apparently).