Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Mexicans score higher on happiness index compared to last year

The mood of adult Mexicans has gone back up to what it was just before the pandemic, according to data from the latest iteration of an annual federal well-being survey. 

Carried out by the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the National Self-Reported Well-Being Survey showed the “mood balance” of Mexicans in January 2023 to be 6.5 points on a scale of 1 to 10 — the same as it was in January 2020.

It higher than the 6.2 points registered in January 2022.

The survey is taken in the first month of each quarter and focuses on three dimensions of well-being: mental balance, satisfaction levels (with life in general and with specific areas of it) and eudaemonia, or spiritual well-being, which relates to a sense of purpose in life.

INEGI said the survey offers representative information on adults in 32 cities in Mexico. Respondents are presented with various questions about their state of mind on the previous day, addressing mood, vitality, stress, tranquility and excitement, and asked to give a rating.

The results, released Feb. 28, show that Mexicans’ highest level of satisfaction is in personal relationships, with an 8.8 score, followed by:

Mexicans' life satisfaction, according to INEGI survey
A bar chart showing Mexicans’ rating of life satisfaction on a quarterly basis since 2015. The turquoise and purple bars on the right show the latest survey’s findings on life satisfaction according to men (turquoise) and women (purple). (Graphic: INEGI)
  • housing, at 8.7
  • Volunteer or work activity, also at 8.7
  • achievements in life, at 8.5. 
  • state of health, at 8.5 
  • future prospects, also at 8.5
  • leisure time, at 7.8
  • Public safety, at 7.1 

The lowest rating was given to the area of security, with an average of 5.4. It was below the 5.6 reported in January 2022.

Of the 12 domains considered, eight presented a decrease compared to January 2022, while four maintained the same level.

The survey also deciphers well-being indicators for different regions. 

For example, in Michoacán, the mood balance in January was 4.77, significantly lower than the 6.5 national average. According to Inegi, this means Michoacános experience higher levels of stress, depression and anxiety than people elsewhere.

Nationally, men showed a higher level of happiness, with 6.8 points, and women registered an average of 6.2 points.

The data about “satisfaction with life in general” showed an 8.5 among men and an 8.3 among women for a national average of 8.4 — which suggests that the majority of Mexicans are happy with their personal situation, according to INEGI. 

The 8.4 rating remained unchanged from January 2022.

In measuring eudaemonia, or spiritual well-being, INEGI offered nine statements for respondents to identify with. The one the adult population identified most with was “I am a lucky person,” a response that had a 9.2 average.

The statement “When something makes me feel bad, it is difficult for me to return to normality” had an average of only 4.3.

INEGI officials explained that the objective of the survey, which has been conducted since 2013, “is to complement the economic figures of the situation with information generated from the Well-Being Framework of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], which promoted the debate on what elements to consider [in judging a country’s well-being], beyond the gross domestic product [GDP].”

With reports from El Financiero, Cambio de Michoacán and Forbes México

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