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Why Spain is ranked 32nd in the ranking of the happiest countries in the world


The economic aspect, fundamentally the perception of equitable and quality income by the citizen, leads the country to a low position, when compared with the result obtained in the Human Development Index, where it ranks 25th.

According to the RAE, happiness is defined as a "state of pleasant physical and mental satisfaction, and also as a person, situation, object or group of them that contribute to making one happy and, what is more significant, the absence of inconveniences or setbacks." ”.

Public policies are precisely designed to guarantee citizen well-being, eliminate inconveniences and factors of inequality and try to guarantee the collective happiness of society.

In this sense, 10 years ago the General Assembly of the United Nations declared March 20 as the International Day of Happiness, recognizing happiness and well-being as universal aspirations in the lives of human beings.

Since then, the concepts of happiness and well-being have been gaining ground in public opinion, establishing themselves as an objective worth working for and fighting for individually, but also placing it among the main axes when formulating policies or initiatives. public for their collective purpose.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflect this trend by setting specific targets for well-being, such as SDG 3, which focuses on health and well-being, and by advancing the need for sustainable progress for all people on the planet, while continuing to nobody behind and thinking about future generations.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has just launched the World Happiness Report


, in which it presents a classification of the happiest countries in the world, based on surveys in which asks more than 1,000 people per country to rate their lives on a scale of 1 to 10.

To explain the perception of happiness expressed by the respondents, the study uses six areas of well-being according to which a person could feel more or less happy: income, life expectancy, social support, freedom, generosity and perception of corruption.

Spain is at number 32 in the World Happiness Report ranking, a rather low position

In this


it should be noted that Spain is at number 32, a rather low position if we compare it, for example, with our position in the Human Development Index, prepared by the United Nations Development Program.

In this classification, in which we are ranked 25th, sustained growth has been observed in recent years, placing us in the very high human development category.

Where we do lead the perception of happiness, according to the World Happiness Report, is in the health section.

It is no coincidence that we enjoy one of the best national health systems in the world, with universal access coverage, and that we live in one of the longest-lived countries with the longest life expectancy.

This should compel us to make an effort to sustainably preserve and finance our jewel in the crown, which has been severely deteriorated in recent years, especially in some of our country's territories.

In fact, this report uses the healthy life expectancy indicator prepared by the World Health Organization, which in our case is 72.1 years, placing us as a reference worldwide and above countries such as Germany, France , UK or Italy.

At the same time, in the economic aspect, equitable and quality income appears, which continues to be one of our pending subjects.


per capita

GDP is lower than that of the last five European countries mentioned and in terms of inequality, measured through the Gini index, we are also behind France and Germany.

In this context, it is worth noting the increase in the minimum wage in recent years (47%), the revaluation of pensions, the establishment of a minimum vital income, the labor reform or the social protection of ERTEs during the pandemic as examples. of measures that help reduce these inequality gaps, improve people's perception and satisfaction, and bring us ever closer to improving our position in these indicators.

Finally, it is necessary to point out that the results of the classification of the happiest countries in this edition are affected by the crises that we have experienced in Europe in the last three years: the strong restrictions imposed to contain covid-19 and its economic consequences, up to the war in Ukraine and the increase in inflation, which has caused a clear decrease in various positions in countries such as Spain, Germany, France, Italy or the United Kingdom compared to the 2022 edition. The report also deduces the importance of the EU's social and environmental response to these multiple crises, unlike others, building an effective roadmap to reach societies with higher and more equitable levels of quality of life.

The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals are designed to move towards a development model that places the human being at the center of all policies, betting on happiness and equal opportunities for all.

The alignment of European policy with this agenda is a golden opportunity to continue advancing in many areas of human well-being, while building more socially sustainable and happy societies.

Leire Pajín

is president of the Spanish Network for Sustainable Development (REDS), the Spanish branch of the SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network), a network that establishes alliances between the academic, business, institutional and civil society fields with the aim of working in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Alejandro Rijo

works at REDS-SDSN Spain.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-03-28

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