People in Switzerland report being the healthiest in Europe
A new report by the Swiss government has found that those living in the alpine nation report being the healthiest people in Europe. Around three-quarters of the population said they felt happy most or all of the time, while only 3,9 percent reported being in poor or very poor health.
Nearly three-quarters of Swiss say they are happy
In the latest Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SLIC) conducted by the Federal Statistical Office, the government found that 73,4 percent of the Swiss population reported feeling happy most or all of the time in the four weeks leading up to being asked. This compares to just 5,9 percent who said they felt discouraged or depressed recently.
The FSO noted that rates of depression “decrease with increasing education and income”. At over 73 percent, Switzerland ranks as one of the happiest nations on earth, just behind the Scandinavian countries, Israel and the Netherlands.
Switzerland has lowest rate of bad health in Europe
Along with feeling happy, the study found that only 3,9 percent of the population think that their health is “bad” or “very bad.” This is “fewer than in any other country in Europe”, the FSO claimed, with the EU average sitting at 8,8 percent.
In Switzerland, one’s health was mainly determined by salary and income poverty - 8,4 percent of people with an income in the 20th percentile said they suffered from poor health, compared to just 1,2 percent of the top 20 percent of earners. However, the rates of poor health among low earners in Switzerland still pale in comparison to Germany and France, which sit at 20 percent and 14,4 percent respectively.
Education, physical and mental health heavily entwined
Another factor at play was level of education: people who have only completed primary and secondary school are twice as likely to be obese or say their health is bad compared to those who completed vocational training, and nearly four times as likely than those who attended higher education. The FSO noted that these social disadvantages only grow with age.
Finally, the government said that mental and physical health remain closely intertwined, with 10,1 percent of people who are clinically obese rating their health as bad or very bad, compared to 2,6 percent of those who are within the standard weight range. Obese people were also less likely (69,2 percent) to say they were happy compared to those who aren’t (75,6 percent).