Researchers at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System and the University of Michigan studied 540 adults in two groups - the first group between 21 and 40 years age, and the second group over the age of 60.
The researchers asked the participants to rank their own happiness on a scale of 1 to 10 at their current age, at age 30, and at age 70. They also asked them to judge how happy most people are at those ages, reported the online edition of 'The Globe and Mail'.
They found that while both older and younger people believe most people are happier in their youth, quite the opposite is true.
In fact, people reported that they are happier with their lives the older they get, lead researcher Heather Lacey said.
"When we're younger, we seem to be more focused on learning new skills, achieving new successes, acquiring things," the researchers said in their study published in the June issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies.
"As we get older, we seem to recognise that life is only going to go on so much longer, time is starting to run short, and so we start to shift our goals more to social relationships, and things that make us happy."
"We stop worrying about achieving, and start thinking about enjoying. People also get better at managing their moods and not 'sweating at the smaller stuff'," she said.