Are older people really happier than younger people?
In recent years, many media reports have claimed that older people are happier than younger people. We question the total validity of this claim. Analyzing data from General Social Surveys 1972-2016, this study reveals that the happiness of older adults depends on their health status and economic status, and it also detects a significant J-shaped relationship between age and happiness over a lifetime. Additionally, we find significant differences in happiness across generations and over time. Our findings challenge the popular claim in the media reports and the U-shaped and inverted U-shaped patterns detected in the academic literature and provide a more complete picture of the relationship between age and happiness.