• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Report: Life in Spain is more miserable than Saudi Arabia
Illustration by masha krasnova-shabaeva/Flickr

Report: Life in Spain is more miserable than Saudi Arabia

The Local · 17 Mar 2016, 10:36

Published: 17 Mar 2016 10:36 GMT+01:00

The World Happiness Report 2016 was released this week and Denmark took the top spot out of 156 countries that were ranked by their happiness levels. 

Perhaps surprisingly, Spain - with its reputation of year-round sun, sea and siestas, as well as a general laid back attitude to life - was down in 37th place, between Qatar and Algeria.

Spain was three places behind Saudi Arabia, a country that forbids women to drive and in 2015 alone beheaded “at least” 157 people - a two decade high by some reports.

A slight consolation for Spain was that its Mediterranean neighbours did even worse in the ranking; Italy came in 50th, while Portugal was 94th and Greece 99th.

The United States was ranked 13th and the United Kingdom 23rd.

Burundi was bottom of the list, closely followed by Syria.

The World Happiness Report 2016 looked at six factors: GDP per capita, social support (eg the possibility of being able to count on someone in hard times), life expectancy at birth, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption.

In the ranking of countries that have become happier since 2005, Spain ranks a lowly 118th out of 126 countries, having become unhappier in the last 10 years.

"The ten countries with the largest declines in average life evaluations typically suffered some combination of economic, political and social stresses," the report states.

"Three of the countries (Greece, Italy and Spain) were among the four hard-hit Eurozone countries."

Story continues below…

Spain has risen by one point since 2013, when it came in at number 38.

The 2013 survey explained the Spain’s low figure could be put down to "respondents’ perceived freedom to make key life choices" and "increases in perceived corruption in business and government", the report's authors concluded.

They also cited the huge influence of unemployment on reduced happiness.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain arrests seven over stolen Bacon paintings
Francis Bacon's 'Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror' is auctioned in New York City in 2012. Photo: AFP

Spanish police said Saturday they had arrested seven people suspected of involvement in the theft of five paintings worth €25 million ($27.8 million) by renowned British artist Francis Bacon.

Colombia rebels free Spanish journalist
Salud Hernandez-Mora talking to journalists after her release. Photo: AFP

The Colombian rebel group ELN freed a prominent Spanish-Colombian journalist and two local TV reporters Friday after holding them for nearly a week.

Recipe: How to make Spain's summer classic gazpacho
Gazpacho is the perfect lunchtime refresher in the summer heat. Photo: Harlan Harris / Flickr

Chilled, refreshing, and delicious, a bowl of gazpacho is a must during Spain's sizzling summer months.

Model found guilty of murder of Brit millionaire ex-boyfriend
Mayka Kukucova with British businessman Andrew Bush. Photo: Facebook

A Slovakian swimwear model has been found guilty for murdering her British millionaire ex-boyfriend at a court in Malaga.

Spanish bishop demands staff get 'anti-paedo certificate'
Stock photo of priests: AFP

The Bishop of Lleida has requested all staff, including priests and monks, prove they are not paedophiles.

Beach hogger fined in Spain for saving spot with umbrella
Tourists at a Spanish beach. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP.

Attempting to 'reserve' a spot on the beach of one Costa Blanca resort is being treated very harshly indeed.

Superfast undersea mega-cable to link US and Spain
It will be 16 million times faster than a domestic broadband connection. Photo: Oleg Zaytsev / Flickr

Your internet access is about to get a whole lot faster.

Travel chaos looms as Easyjet workers call strike in Malaga
Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP

Thousands of holidaymakers could be affected by the strike...

Spanish capital gripped by Champions League fever
Real Madrid fans. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

Madrid's two biggest teams will face off against each other in Saturday's Champions League final.

Colombia blames guerrillas for missing journalists
Demonstrators called for the release of Spanish journalist Salud Hernandez Mora in Bogota this week. Photo: Guillermo Legaria/AFP

The Red Cross has joined the search for three journalists missing in Colombia whose disappearance the government blamed on a leftist rebel group.

National
Stunning cave paintings found 300 metres below Spain
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Travel
Five good reasons why Extremadura should be on your bucket list
Lifestyle
Top Ten: Barcelona's coolest rooftop bars
National
Plane forced to dodge THREE drones to land in Bilbao
National
Spain launches campaign to stop English 'invasion'
Culture
Ten unique Basque words you need to learn right now
National
'It’s time to dig up Franco' say victims of Spain's dictatorship
Lifestyle
'Severe jellyfish stings' end Brit's Spanish swim feat
Sport
5 reasons why Spanish clubs dominate European football
International
Tesco to bring British tea and biscuits to Spanish stores
Culture
Bucket list: 16 brilliant things to do once in your life in Spain
National
Spain's Civil War victims to be exhumed from Franco's tomb
National
Two mums face jail for leaving kids in car to go out drinking
Education
Students at Spanish college forced to take exorcism class
National
Ten superb reasons why you need to visit San Sebastián
Society
Abused wife saved by hiding SOS note in son's homework
National
Look up! Rare meteor shower set to dazzle skies over Spain
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
Travel
Ibiza bans drinking in street… and that includes water
National
Expats didn't 'abandon' UK so ALL Brits should get EU vote
Features
What's on in Spain: May 2016
Travel
Discover Spain's breathtaking national parks
National
Couple caught on camera having sex on metro platform
3,373
jobs available