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Working paper

Creative occupations and subjective wellbeing

1 Apr 2015
Description

This report statistically examines whether being in a creative occupation is associated with higher levels of subjective wellbeing, once other factors that affect wellbeing are controlled for. Four different measures of subjective wellbeing (life satisfaction, worthwhileness, happiness and anxiety) from the UK’s Annual Population Survey are analysed. The research finds that most creative occupations have higher than average levels of life satisfaction, worthwhileness and happiness than employment in general, although most creative occupations also have higher average levels of anxiety. Once other factors that affect wellbeing are controlled for, some, but not all, creative occupations are found to be associated with higher levels of wellbeing.

Jobs in architecture, crafts, design, and music, and the performing and visual arts are associated with higher levels of wellbeing than non-creative jobs. Jobs in marketing and advertising, film, TV, video, radio and photography, IT, and publishing are associated with lower levels of wellbeing than non-creative jobs. We conclude that jobs with a traditionally strong creative identity, such as crafts, design and arts, are associated with higher levels of wellbeing than other jobs.

Publication Details
Identifiers: 
ISSN: 
2050 -9820
Issue: 
Nesta Working Paper No. 15/09
Language: 
License Type: 
All Rights Reserved
Published year only: 
2015
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