Why Mexicans are happier: More faith and less welfare!
The welfare state has made communities less nurturing and, as a result, teenagers in the UK are less happy than those in some poorer countries, according to the OECD chief of staff.
Gabriela Ramos also suggested that those in countries such as Mexico – where more than 90 per cent of the population is Roman Catholic – benefit from the fact that they are more religious than in Britain.
Studies have suggested faith could be a contributing factor to its community spirit, with the ‘Catholic ethic’ considered a ‘helping one’ that emphasises family and community over wealth.
The UK’s economic success may have led people to neglect each other because they know the Government will look after anyone in trouble, Mrs Ramos said.
In contrast, poorer countries have fewer state benefits and citizens have to rely on each other in times of hardship.
In Mexico, youngsters rated their life satisfaction with an average score of 8.27 on a scale of one to ten, while in the UK it was 6.98.
Asked about the difference, Mrs Ramos, who is Mexican, said: ‘Social relationships are very good [in Mexico] – social capital, family, support systems. [This is] probably because you don’t have institutional developed systems to take care of people like you do in advanced economies where you have all the social systems that will help you with unemployment payments.
‘You rely a lot on your family and your family are always there.