Does the marital status affect self-reported happiness? Evidence from Azerbaijan

Marriage is one of the most important decisions in one's life which also affects the well-being of individuals. Comparing the life satisfaction of individuals due to marital status could be interesting. The current study aims to explore the impact of marital status on the self-reported happiness of individuals in Azerbaijan. Using a cross-sectional data set of 2009 respondents, we empirically estimate the life satisfaction difference due to the marital status of individuals while stepwise inclusion of a set of covariates. Estimation results display that marital status is a significant determinant of happiness in Azerbaijan. With no covariates, no significant happiness difference was revealed among unmarried, married and widowed people while divorced individuals are significantly less satisfied than others. All models confirm that the least happy group is divorced people. Married people are more satisfied than unmarried individuals. Results about widowed people require further research for a scientific justification. Meanwhile, gender status, age and educational attainment level are significant determinants of life satisfaction in Azerbaijan.