Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Is Mexico happier under AMLO? World Happiness Report suggests it might be

Has Mexico been swept into a new era of prosperity and happiness by AMLO? The country climbed one position from 24th to 23rd in the United Nations’ World Happiness Report for 2019 and by the report’s own estimation, the slight improvement might have something to do with its new government.

The index measures happiness on a scale of one to 10 based on six key variables: gross domestic product per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.

Satisfaction among Mexicans declined by half a point between 2013 and 2017, but it came back in 2018. During that period, the country’s ranking plunged from 16th to 25th.

The report highlighted that satisfaction is highest in Mexico in terms of personal relationships and lowest in terms of security. In a section dedicated to “happiness and government,” the report’s authors explained that the uptick in overall happiness and satisfaction in Mexico this year may be a result of the promised change in government culture by President López Obrador.

“Despite the achievements of the [incumbent] administration in traditionally relevant fields, such as economic activity and employment, mirrored by sustained satisfaction with those domains of life, the public seemed to feel angry and fed up with political leaders, who were perceived as being unable to solve growing inequalities, corruption, violence and insecurity. When the election went the way these voters wished, then this arguably led to an increase in their life satisfaction.”

The study found that overall life satisfaction steadily increased between 2013 and 2018, with a spike upwards when free long-distance calls were introduced, a downward spike when gas prices went up and another upward movement following the election of López Obrador.

The report measures happiness in a total of 156 countries. Finland once again received the distinction of being the world’s happiest nation followed by its traditional competitors Denmark, Norway and Iceland. South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan came at the bottom of the list as the least happiest.

Mexico ranked as Latin America’s second happiest country after first-place Costa Rica.

Mexico News Daily

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