Global Happiness Index Survey Finds Britons Better Off than French and Spanish

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23rd December 2011 22:01 - Public Consultation

A happiness survey by the Cambridge University of 43,000 people in 22 countries has found that far from Britons being a gloomy bunch, we are in fact less miserable than the French, Germans and Spaniards.

The study asked participants to describe 10 areas of their lives, including optimism, emotional stability, self-esteem and positive relationships.

People in the UK came tenth out of all 22 countries on the happiness index, with Denmark coming first, Switzerland second and Austria third.

In total, one in five Brits described themselves as "flourishing", in contrast with only 14% of French people.

Countries with the lowest proportion of "flourishing" citizens were found to be Portugal and Russia at only 9%.

The authors of the survey commented: "Some nations showed very marked variability in their rankings. France had the highest score in Europe on engagement but the lowest on self-esteem and was among the lowest on optimism and positive relationships. In contrast, Spain had the highest score on self-esteem, but the lowest on the measures of competence and vitality. The UK was near the middle in overall well-being as well as in almost every feature."

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