Spain one of the unhappiest countries in Europe

by Lorraine Williamson
unhappiest in Europe

MADRID – While Spaniards have often been found to be relatively happy in previous studies, a new study changes that. This states that Spain is the unhappiest country in Europe after Turkey. 

Spain is one of the unhappiest countries in Europe, according to the recent survey by Ipsus Global Adviser – Happiness 2022. In this, Spain is in second place in the ranking, only the Hungarian population is even more unhappy. 

55% of Spaniards ‘very’ or ‘quite’ happy 

Overall, 55% of Spaniards said they were “very” or “quite happy”, compared to 51% of Hungarians. Nevertheless, about 17% of Spaniards reported being happier than in the pandemic year 2020. In that year, the value in Spain was only 38%. 

According to the research, the happiest people in Europe live in the Netherlands. There, 86% said they were happy. Great Britain (83%) comes in second, followed by France (81%). 

Research among more than 20,000 adults 

These are some of the findings of a survey of 20,504 adults under the age of 75, conducted between November 19 and December 3, 2021, on Ipsos’ online research platform Global Advisor. 

Factors That Most Affect Mental Well-Being 

The factors most influencing mental wellbeing across Europe are social media use (13%), moving to another country (18%), change of political power (23%), or material dependence (24%). 

Turkey is the unhappiest country in the world 

Looking at the results worldwide, Turkey is the unhappiest country with only 42% of people reporting being happy. This is followed by Argentina at 48%. 

Happiness prevalence higher than mid-2019 

At a global average level, the prevalence of happiness worldwide is now not only higher than in mid-2020, a few months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but also compared to mid-2019, months before the pandemic. However, it is 10 points lower than 10 years earlier, at the end of 2011. 

New sources of happiness 

Some elements are considered more sources of happiness today than they were in 2019, before the pandemic. Happiness drivers that have gained the most importance are “being forgiven”, “forgiving someone”, finding someone to be with” and, although only a minority of adults cite it as a source of happiness, “spending time on social media”. 

Related post: 7 Reasons to feel good living in Spain 

Most important happiness factors 

The research shows that the most important happiness factors for people are their health and well-being, both physical and mental, their family (partner/spouse and children) and that they have a purpose. Then follows their living conditions, feeling safe and in control, being in nature, having a meaningful job, and having more money. 

Read more about the research here. 

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