Happy Mexicans. Happy Mexicans. vanguardia

Mexicans: fat and happy, hard-working

While Mexico ranked high on happiness index, it has fared poorly on many others

With Mexico recording some dismal scores on various international measurements of progress, how come Mexican citizens are so happy?


The question asked yesterday by the newspaper Vanguardia was spurred by Mexico’s No. 2 placement on the Happy Planet Index, a measurement of “sustainable well-being” according to its creator.

Mexican citizens ranked second happiest after Costa Rica out of 140 countries.

Yet Mexico is also ranked among the world’s most corrupt, unhealthy and unjust, said Vanguardia writer Sandra Naal.

With regard to corruption and adherence to and respect for the law, Mexico placed 79th on the 2015 Rule of Law Index of the World Justice Project in a field of 102 countries.

On an index that rates the ability of police and other security providers to address internal security issues, its ranking was 118th out of 127 countries, keeping company with Honduras, Sierra Leone, Venezuela and Cameroon. The World Internal Security and Police Index measures the performance of police in terms of capacity, process, legitimacy and outcomes.


Another security-related measurement, described as the absence of violence or the fear of violence, is that of the Global Peace Index, which ranked Mexico 140th out of 163 countries in 2015, although the index did find a very slight improvement since the previous study.

However, the homicide rate, weapons crime and impunity were identified as problem areas.

On the health front, the phrase “fat and happy” could well be applied to Mexicans if one considers the Happy Planet Index result alongside obesity rates.

The country ranks No. 1 in the world for obesity among adults with more than 30% considered to be suffering from that ailment. More than 10 million are estimated to suffer from diabetes.

For economic inequality, Mexico is No. 1 among member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The OECD also says Mexican workers put in far more hours.

The country’s average is 2,237 hours worked per year; the OECD average is 1,770.

Source: Vanguardia (sp)

Stories from our archives that you might enjoy

  • James Smith

    question to a mexican friend while traveling in mexico: how can you people be so cheerful in a nation which is controlled by criminals? answer: it is either laugh or cry. most of us prefer the former.

  • Steve Galat

    You’ve been reading either too much (or too little) Enrique Krause and Jorge Castañeda. That you would applaud a university scholarship of existential angst and pain…”the lunacy and sorrow”….over the festive simple bucolic life of the campesino, the vaquero, betrays the angry and pessimistic capitalist nihilism of your own vaunted “exceptionalism,” Jimboy! So….Why not JOIN them instead? Let’s hear local mariachis whine ‘Malagüeña Salerosa’ over and over again by the pulque barrel con nuestros vecinos….you and me….como beneméritos y Constituyentes!

  • alance

    Other Mexican superlatives might include the junk food capital of the world, the alcoholic capital of the world and the sedentary lifestyle capital of the world combined with the soap opera capital of the world and the lack of sleep capital of the world.

  • David Nichols

    Diminished aspirations, combined with diminished expectations results in an acceptance of life as it has always been for the poor and near poor in Mexico. Their riches are their families and friends–more important than money, if you have food and shelter, many do not…
    Meanwhile the ruling class continues to hoard their billions and scramble for more..!