Social Indicators Research

, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 1–33 | Cite as

Poverty and Subjective Well-being in Mexico

  • Joaquina Palomar Lever


There are two tendencies in the literatureregarding the relationship between income andsubjective well-being. The first tendencymaintains that there is a strong relationshipbetween these two variables, and that thepoorer the population, the more pronounced thisrelationship. The second tendency downplaysthis relationship, arguing that a largepercentage of happiness cannot be explained byeconomic variables. The objective of this studywas to compare the subjective well-being ofthree socioeconomic groups – extremely poor,moderately poor and not poor – and to discoverthe combination of subjective well-beingfactors that makes it possible to predict thesocioeconomic group to which subjects belong.Subjective well-being was measured by using aninstrument developed by Palomar Lever (2000) andconsisting of eleven related factors thatinquire into the subjects' satisfaction ineleven areas of life. The results indicatestatistically significant differences in nearlyall the subjective well-being factors inrelation to the socioeconomic group to whichsubjects belong, with the poorest subjectsreporting the least satisfaction. In additionsome differences were found in relation to sexand age. Also, low correlations were observedbetween income and subjective well-being in theextremely poor and moderately poor groups, withmore of these correlations in the first group,followed by the last. Finally, it was foundthat membership in the socioeconomic groups canbe predicted by a combination of subjectivewell-being factors such as satisfaction withone's recreational activities, socialsurroundings, personal development and couplerelationship.

happiness income money quality of life subjective poverty well-being 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joaquina Palomar Lever
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentIberoamerican UniversityLomas de Santa Fe, México, City

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