A NEW report has given surprising insight into the countries whose populations have the best mental health.
The contrast between the UK and Spain could hardly have been more different in the study published by research organization Sapiens Lab.
Of all the 34 countries surveyed, Spain was second, surpassed only by Venezuela.
The UK meanwhile had the joint lowest mental health score, alongside South Africa.
Of the top ten countries, six were Spanish speaking.
The survey looked at a variety of factors in determining its rankings, including mood and outlook, how we relate to ourselves and others, and drive and motivation, asking a total of 223,000 people.
In addition, the survey found a correlation between living in an English-speaking country and poor mental health. The USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland all ranked in the bottom ten.
The survey found no link between a country’s wealth and the happiness of its citizens but there did appear to be a trend between inequality, which has increased in many western countries over the past decade, and negative mental health.
This is perhaps most clearly exemplified by Venezuela which was top despite being the most poverty-stricken nation in Latin America.
One of the things all nations appeared to have in common was the decline in mental health of young people, with every single country surveyed showing a decline in the mental well being of 18-24 year-olds.
Conversely, older people were much more likely to report having good mental health.
The researchers said that young people residing in ‘an internet-dominated and inequitable world’ may be a key factor.
The report can be viewed in full here.
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