Money for nothing? Migrating to wealthy countries doesn’t necessarily lead to happiness

Posted by pt91 at Jul 22, 2013 03:35 PM |
New research from University of Leicester reveals that most migrants don't feel any happier in their adopted country

A University of Leicester sociologist has investigated whether migrants from Eastern European countries become happier once they have settled in Western Europe – and his conclusions might make potential migrants think twice before packing their bags.  Most migrants were no happier after migration and migrants from Poland in particular were significantly less happy.

In his new paper in ‘Migration Studies’, Dr David Bartram (pictured) analyses data from 42,000 Europeans to try and determine whether happiness can be gained by moving to a richer country, compared to the ‘stayers’ who remain in the country the migrants have left.

Dr Bartram, of the Department of Sociology, found that migrants from Eastern Europe as a whole do not appear to have gained happiness by migrating to Western Europe. However, it depends on where the migrant comes from.

Migrants from countries with a lower average happiness, such as Russia and Turkey, were likely to have an increase in happiness. Yet, comparatively happier Poles often found themselves disappointed by their experience in Western Europe.

Migrants are able to increase their cash flow by moving to a wealthier country, but even if they do, they might end up in a lower ‘relative’ position in the destination country, and Dr Bartram asserts that when it comes to happiness, this relative position usually matters far more.

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