Being generous and supporting your family could help you live longer, according to a new study from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany.
Researchers have concluded that the emotional satisfaction of giving and receiving improves well-being and therefore increases a person’s life expectancy.
To arrive at these conclusions, the researchers used data from more than 30 countries from the National Transfer Accounts project and analyzed all the private money transfers received and given by each individual during their lifetime.
The study found that in some Western European countries, families shared a greater share of their average income with relatives and that death rates were low.
And in France and Japan, the two countries with the lowest death rates of any of the countries studied, an average person over 65 shared between 68 and 69 percent of their income.
This figure should be compared, according to the researchers, to those of countries like China or Turkey, where between 44 and 48% of income is redistributed, and where the death rate is almost twice as high as in France and Japan.
People in South American countries also share more than 60% of their average income with other people, but while the death rate is higher than in Western Europe and Japan, it is much lower than in sub-Saharan Africa.
Countries on this continent, like Senegal, share the lowest percentage of their income and have the highest death rate of any country studied.
The study was published in the journal PNAS.