Home / Economy / India@75 survey: Family, a source of comfort amid job dissatisfaction

For a vast majority in urban India, money isn’t everything, or it is just a means to non-material ends such as happiness, suggest the findings of the latest round of YouGov-Mint-CPR Millennial Survey.

As many as 63% of the respondents to the survey expressed a greater preference for a sense of security, stability and happiness over a rise in income in their lives. While those with higher education or income levels are more likely to choose happiness over money, a significant majority across groups—even low-income ones—expressed the same preference.

The survey, conducted in the run-up to India completing 75 years of independence, covered 10,271 respondents across 204 cities and towns. It was held in June and July jointly by the Indian arm of the global market research firm YouGov, Mint, and the Delhi-based think tank Centre for Policy Research (CPR). It was the eighth in a series of bi-annual online surveys aimed at examining the aspirations, anxieties, and attitudes of India’s digital natives.

So, if happiness matters more to urban Indians, are they happy and satisfied in their life? Data suggests that they might be seeking comfort in their family or friends when work life and affairs of the country are proving to be a let-down. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents rated their satisfaction with family life ‘4’ or ‘5’ on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very unsatisfied and 5 is very satisfied. The next biggest source of satisfaction for them was friends and social life. Three and four of every 10 respondents, respectively, rated their satisfaction level with their current job and the political atmosphere in the country ‘1’ and ‘2’. These trends are not surprising given the distress in the job market and the evidence of widening political polarization.

Expanding freedom

The good news is that a larger proportion reported an increase than a decrease in their individual freedom in a survey that was conducted in the run-up to India’s 75th independence day. Around 28% felt a rise in their individual freedom in all or most aspects in the recent past. In comparison, only 15% experienced a decline in their freedom in all or most aspects. The rest have witnessed either increase in some aspects and decrease in others, or no change in their overall freedom.

Income appears to be the strongest determinant of freedom levels. 36% among those with a monthly income of more than 1 lakh expressed an increase in their freedom, compared to only 27% among those earning 20,000 or less. Those with professional degrees were also more likely to perceive an expansion in their freedom than those with less education.

Ways to more freedom

About 26% of respondents said that they would feel more free if they were doing better in their career. This goes with relatively higher dissatisfaction levels with current jobs and achievements in life. This was expressed as the most dominant factor, albeit with some varying proportion, for increasing freedom across groups, irrespective of income, age, education, gender or city tiers of respondents.

Even though family and friends are already giving the maximum satisfaction to urban Indians, every fifth respondent would appreciate greater support from them in order to feel more free. Women, low-income and tier-3 city respondents were more likely to report it as a way to expand their freedom.

Despite a high dissatisfaction level with the political atmosphere of the country, few see it necessary for leading a more free life.

The findings suggest that while Indians feel more free and are largely satisfied with their family and social lives, they are not done yet.

This is one of six parts in a data journalism series based on the YouGov-Mint-CPR survey held in the run-up to India completing 75 years of independence. Read all the parts here.

The survey's questionnaires, raw data and methodology for all rounds, including the latest one, can be found here

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