Thousands of Brits have uprooted and relocated to Spain, attracted by the laid-back lifestyle, warm climate, beaches, culture and cuisine. And it appears it’s not just an improved lifestyle expats enjoy on Spain’s Costas.
According to the Mental State of the World Report, the most comprehensive study of its kind that tracks mental health levels across 34 global countries, including five European countries where either English, French or Spanish are spoken, moving to Spain could be good for your mental wellbeing.
Five different aspects of mental wellbeing, including mood and outlook, how we relate to ourselves and others, drive and motivation, were analysed by researchers with interesting results.
Around 2,25,000 people were surveyed worldwide by non-profit research organisation Sapiens Lab, and asked to rate their wellbeing on a 200 point scale, from distressed to thriving.
And the responses from each country, including those in Continental Europe, Asia, the
UK, Middle East, Australia and Canada, were compared to give an indication of how
people were feeling depending on where they live.
It goes without saying that mental health fell during the pandemic; 8% in 2020 and 3% in
2021, and the intensity of anti-Covid measures in each country played a part particularly
amongst younger people.
But surprisingly, the study showed that mental wellbeing was lower in English-speaking
countries and much higher in Latin American and other European destinations. There was also a correlation between declining mental health and higher GDP scores per capita, suggesting economic growth doesn’t always mean happiness and wellbeing.
Whilst the UK and South Africa tied at the bottom of the 34 countries surveyed, with an
the average mental health score of 46%, Latin American and Spanish speaking countries
performed the best overall, with six Spanish speaking countries in the top 10.
Spain ranked second for the highest levels of wellbeing, and in terms of European
countries, was followed by Switzerland at five and Belgium at number eight.
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