Moving to Spain could be good for your mental health, new report suggests

This study is a good place to start if you are thinking about moving abroad in the next year.

The Mental State of the World Report, the largest of its kind, tracks the best and the worst mental health levels in 34 countries around the world, and five European countries where English, French, or Spanish are spoken.

Which country is best to live in if you are looking to start a new chapter?

Researchers have found some surprising results by analysing five areas of mental wellness, including mood, outlook, social self (how we relate with ourselves and others), drive, motivation, and drive.

What is the purpose of the report?

Compiled by non-profit research organisation Sapiens Lab, the study gathered data from 223,000 respondents, from a range of global countries.about:blank

Each respondent was asked to fill out a brief anonymous survey for 15 minutes and to describe their well-being based on a sliding 200-point scale.

The results from each country were then compared to see how the world’s mental health differs.

Although many countries were not included in the survey, it includes countries from Latin America and Africa.

What did the researchers find?

Do you live in an English-speaking country? Your mental health will likely be worse.

One of the most striking findings was that English-speaking countries had the lowest levels of mental wellbeing. While Latin America and other European countries enjoyed the highest levels, they were not as healthy.

Surprisingly though, higher GDP per capita countries had poorer mental health than those with lower levels. This suggests that even though economic growth is good, living in a society that chases growth might not be beneficial for our mental health.

Sapiens Labs

People with poor mental health reported more in countries that placed a greater emphasis on Individualism and Performance Indicators.

The UK was the only country with a lower mental health score than any of the other 34 countries in the study. This tied South Africa.

The UK was the only country with a lower mental health score than any of the other 34 countries in the study. This tied South Africa.

The average mental health score for respondents from both countries was 46%, and the percentage of those who said they were distressed or struggling was 36%.

For overall mental well-being, the US, Canada and Australia were also among the top 10 countries.

Which countries had the highest levels of well-being?

Overall, Latin American and Spanish-speaking countries did the best with six Spanish-speaking countries in the top 10. Three of the five European countries included made it to the top ten, with Spain at number 2, Switzerland at number 5, and Belgium at number 8.

This is because inequality is likely to play a major role in this situation. According to the Gini Index (which measures inequality in countries across the globe), inequality has been increasing in western countries, but decreasing in Latin America.

Sapiens Labs

With a remarkable average of 92% on the mental health scale, Venezuela was the overall winner. The DRC, Nigeria and Cameroon were also well-respected, as was Cote d’Ivoire.

What is the current situation for young people?

One of the most alarming findings of the report was that mental health of young people around the globe continues to decline, with all countries surveyed reporting a decline.

Researchers speculate that this could be due to growing up in an “internet-dominated and inequitable” world.


Across the globe, however, the mental health scores of older generations are much higher than those in younger generations. Happiness peaking in core Anglosphere nations at 70. The 18-24-year-olds living in the same country had the worst mental health, indicating a real age gap. This was also true across Europe.