Happiness survey

Eight out of 10 Spaniards are happy or very happy with their lives, poll shows

Yet overwhelming majority feels the economic and political situation is bad or very bad

Spaniards say going out for a stroll is their favorite leisure activity.
Spaniards say going out for a stroll is their favorite leisure activity.Alfredo Arias

The economy may still be in bad shape; the political situation may be going to the dogs, but the Spanish remain upbeat.

A June survey by the Center for Sociology Studies (CIS) shows that 84% of Spaniards consider themselves to be happy. And over 51% reported feeling almost absolutely content with their lives.

On a scale of 0 (perfectly miserable) to 10 (complete bliss), the most frequent answer was 8.

And it looks like happiness is on the rise: when the CIS asked the same question in January, only 78.8% of respondents replied with a figure between 6 and 10.

This, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Spaniards – nearly three out of four – continues to describe the country’s economic and political situation as “bad” or “very bad.”

Unemployment remains the biggest problem for over half of the population, followed by corruption and politicians.

Unemployment remains the biggest problem for over half of the population, followed by corruption and politicians

Nor are Spaniards optimistic about the near future: 36% said the political situation will remain the same a year from now, while 39.6% felt the same way about the economic situation.

This survey was conducted between June 2 and 12, a period when political parties were scrambling to reach investiture deals at city councils and regional governments in the wake of the May 24 elections.

Nevertheless, the general view of Spanish politics and the economy has improved slightly from May: there was a five-point drop in the proportion of respondents who think the situation is “bad” or “very bad,” down to 71.1% from 76.5% in May. Those who feel it is “good” or “very good” rose from 2.9% to 3.8% over the same period.

More information

The June poll also unveils what Spaniards like to do best during their free time. Going out for a stroll ranked first at 71.3%, followed by watching TV at 70%.

When they do go out for a walk, 39% of those surveyed said they preferred doing so with their partners, while 24% would rather be in the company of friends.

Watching TV and going online is best done alone, however, according to the survey.

Days off and vacations are mostly spent with one’s family, the poll found.

English version by Susana Urra.