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Eight in 10 Spaniards are happy, especially men and the under-25s
30 March 2016 @ 13:42

A SOCIAL attitudes survey shows how people in Spain ask their mums for childcare and money first, their partners to look after them when they are ill, and male friends before females when searching for a job.

Despite the financial crisis, nearly eight in 10 of them are happy with their lives – mainly thanks to family, friends and partners – and although young adults have been the worst-affected by unemployment, they are statistically the most content members of the population.

As for whom Spaniards contact for help and what type of help they ask for, the sociological investigation centre (CIS) research showed their mothers were the first port of call when they needed childcare or money, whilst their partners would be the ones they contact if they need looking after because they are ill, or need to talk because they feel depressed or have suffered an upsetting experience.

Mums are asked to babysit in 32.2% of cases – more so than partners, who are asked on 19.8% of occasions, and the survey does not differentiate whether the partner in question is also the children's parent.

A total of 8.9% would ask their sister – brothers were not mentioned – but very few (0.1%) would ask a neighbour or work colleague, or an ex-partner (0.5%).

When seeking care during illness, 50.1% would ask their partner, 21% would ask their mother, 5.9% would ask one of their children and 3.6%, their sister – again, brothers were not mentioned.

As for whom the average Spaniard would turn to when they needed money, their mothers were number one – in 20.1% of cases – before their fathers, who would be asked in 17.3% of cases.

Parents are asked for money more often than partners, who make up just 14.8% of the total, or grown-up children, in the case of 10.7% responses.

Needing to talk about a problem or to offload when feeling upset or depressed would, in 42% of cases, mean calling or texting a partner, or in 10.6% of cases, a female friend – whilst male friends were more likely to be called upon when needing help finding a job, representing 19.3% of cases.

The social habits survey asked respondents to rate on a scale of one to 10 how happy they were generally, taking into account aspects such as family, partner and friends, compared with the rest of the population in general.

Most of them – 78.8% - gave a figure of seven or more out of 10, saying they were particularly happy with their family, friend and partner relationships, but not very much so with the rest of the world, since the majority considered that people in general 'only look out for themselves'.

A small percentage – 12.5%, or one in eight – described themselves as 'completely happy' with life.

Men are typically happier than women – rating their contentment at 7.67 out of 10 on average, compared with 7.58 – but Spaniards' level of happiness tends to fall gradually, albeit to a very minor degree, in line with their age.


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