Someone deep within the bowels of the ONS has the job of measuring the nation's happiness.
I imagine they perform complicated sums and have a really big computer upon which to practise their arts of happiness detection.
And lo, the machine did whirr and it did produce this document: "Measuring Young People's Well-Being, 2012."
The key finding is: "On average, young people are more likely than other age groups to be highly satisfied with their lives and the use of their leisure time.
"They are also more likely to be optimistic about the future."
Read the news, listen to the Prime Minister (heaven help you) or throw a brick in the street (maybe you shouldn't do that,) and you won't be short of people telling you how hard it is to be young these days.
They can't get a house, can't get a job, don't get taught properly at school, don't stay in school long enough, stay in school too long, can't go to university, go to university too much, learn nothing/too much on stupid made up courses, can't spell their own names, can't add, subtract, write a sentence, wash up, solve global warming, behave themselves, handle their drink, play outside, play nicely with each other... the list has no end.
And yet, the ONS has done its sums and decided that this lot somehow manage to find it within themselves to remain cheery.
Question is, what does it say for the rest of us?
Well for a start, us oldies are a progressively more miserable bunch. Yes, that sounds about right.
The ONS declare: "Young people are very optimistic, with those aged 16 to 19 reporting the highest levels of optimism: 85% reported medium to high levels of optimism about the next year.
"On the whole, medium to high levels of optimism decrease with age up to the 50-54 age group."
Proportionately the age group with the most stuff — cash, property, memories, cats, doting children, pensions — are the folk aged 50 and above.
I suppose there are only two flies in their ointment:
One, by the time you get to 50- plus you're probably aware that you are, statistically, closer to the exit than the entrance – if you catch my drift – and two, while you're trying to deal with that major downer, you're also required to cope with young people swanning about the place being cheery about EVERYTHING, even the bad stuff.
That's the problem with the young. They're so inconsiderate.