Moving south for the sun is no guarantee of happiness for northern Europeans. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier/Files
Sun seekers who leave northern Europe for warmer climes are
marginally less happy than those left behind, a study found.
A sample of more than 300 migrants from Belgium, Switzerland,
Germany, the Netherlands, France and Britain who resettled in
Mediterranean countries found that they were slightly less
satisfied with life than a much larger sample of 56,000
people living in northern countries.
The sun lovers scored 7.3 out of a possible 10 on average on
a "happiness" scale while the stay-at-homes came in at an
average of 7.5 percent, according to the study released by Dr
David Bartram, a senior lecturer in the Department of
Sociology at England's University of Leicester.
"The key finding from the analysis is that people from
northern Europe who migrated to southern Europe are less
happy than the stayers in northern Europe," Bartram said.
He said the migrants had higher incomes than the average in
their new country and some theories had predicted that this
would make them happier.
The reverse proved to be the case, he said, perhaps because
"migration itself can be disruptive to other dimensions of
people's lives - social ties, sense of belonging - possibly
with consequences for their happiness.
"Perhaps any positive subjective consequences were outweighed
by negative consequences arising from the more general
disruptive effects of international migration on one's life,"
he said in a statement.
Bartram's findings were based on a study of data collected
between 2002 and 2010 by the European Social Survey, a
cross-national survey conducted every two years.