Close

Donate today to keep Global Voices strong!

Our global community of volunteers work hard every day to bring you the world's underreported stories -- but we can't do it without your help. Support our editors, technology, and advocacy campaigns with a donation to Global Voices!

Donate now

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Spain Is Not Very Happy

It seems that Spain is not very happy. According to a study by Carlos III University in Madrid (uc3m) [es], Spaniards rank 49th in happiness out of the 112 countries polled.

kdmskdfnwkjdThis happiness index (pdf) is based not on subjective questions, but on “revealed preferences,” using migration as a standard; that is, what people do, not what they say. Per Juan de Dios Tena [es], a statistics professor at Carlos III University: “Migration flows are closely linked to psychological issues related to happiness,” that is, people tend to leave a country if it lacks the conditions for their happiness, in favor of someplace where they think they can be happy.

The researchers took into account both economic and non-economic factors of happiness, which overlap with what can be considered the determining factors of migration: absolute and relative income, demographic and social characteristics, social development, relationships with others and characteristics of the place where one lives, as well as variables like distance or a common border and language.

Considering all these factors, and led by Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand, Spain is 49th out of the 112 countries in the ranking, followed by Mexico, Iran and Costa Rica, among others. In last place are countries like Afghanistan, South Africa and China.

Tena also claims that migration flows don't just depend on the possibility of finding work, as is commonly thought, but are also influenced by pollution, terrorism and economic inequality, variables that psychologists consider determinants of happiness.

The study concludes that well-being cannot be solely measured by per capita income and notes that good policies increase the willingness of people to live in their country, while bad ones reduce that willingness.

Here are some relevant Tweets:

Spain is far from the top ranking of happiness per the UC3M.. we're not even laughing ,,clearly we are things aren't for that now 

— Beatriz Bonmatí (@b_bonmati) September 23, 2013

@marianorajoy we need more soccer, it's urgent!: Another happiness ranking shows Spain far from the top http://t.co/kNJqZKXZDZ
— Hrœrekr (@iGNUrante) September 23, 2013

WHO THINKS THIS IS STRANGE???? AT THIS RATE WE WILL RANK 112 IN JUST A FEW MONTHS…. http://t.co/ppWpTHl9TZ

— AutonomosEnLaLucha (@UNI_CAES) September 23, 2013

  • MaxV

    Of course Spain is unhappy, it is currently one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Its citizens are being forced to accept austerity measures, endure high unemployment, have no hope for the future…whilst its President Rajoy bleeds the country dry and pockets as much money as he can whilst in power. The place is a total mess.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site