#trending: Singapore ranked happiest country in Asia in UN's 2023 Happiness report, but some raise doubts over results
Singapore has been ranked the 25th happiest country in the world according to the 2023 World Happiness Report, two spots higher than last year. But it seems like some Singaporeans are not too happy about that.
- Singapore has been ranked the 25th happiest country in the world, according to the 2023 World Happiness Report
- More than 150 countries were ranked based on factors such as gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy and freedom to make life choices
- Many online users have casted doubt over the survey findings, with some going as far as to call the results a “joke”
SINGAPORE — Singapore has been ranked the 25th happiest country in the world according to the 2023 World Happiness Report, two spots higher than last year.
But it seems like some Singaporeans are not too happy about that.
Several online users have raised doubts over the survey findings, with some going as far as to call the results a “joke”.
Released on Monday (March 20) in conjunction with the International Day of Happiness, the report is a publication by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network and is primarily based on Gallup World Poll data.
Finland landed the top position as happiest nation for the sixth year running, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Luxembourg and New Zealand, in order. War-torn Afghanistan and Lebanon remain the two unhappiest countries in the survey.
At 25th spot, Singapore is the happiest country in Asia, followed closely by Taiwan at number 27. Other Asian countries ranked include Japan (47), Malaysia (55), Thailand (60), China, (64), Vietnam (65), the Philippines (76), Indonesia (83) and India (126).
GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, perceptions of corruption and dystopia were the seven key factors used to rank more than 150 countries based on their average “life evaluations”.
HOW COUNTRIES WERE RANKED
In the Gallup World Poll, respondents were asked to evaluate their current life as a whole using the image of a ladder, with the best possible life for them as a 10 and worst possible as a 0, the report stated.
Happiness rankings this year were based on a three-year average of these “life evaluations” in 2020, 2021 and 2022, and around 1,000 responses were gathered annually for each country.
However, the report noted that survey information in 2022 was unavailable for a number of countries including Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines and China. The averages for these countries were based on data from 2020 and 2021 only.
Many netizens casted doubt over the survey’s findings, questioning its methodology and expressing skepticism over whether Singaporeans are truly as happy as the report claims.
One Reddit user commented: “I wonder who they actually polled to get that absolutely outrageous conclusion”, while another user asked if the organisation behind the survey only asked “rich people”.
One Redditor sarcastically wrote: “We are happy with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) increasing and increasing, we are happy that our old folks have jobs as cleaners in hawker centres, we are happy with (being the country with) the highest cost of living.”
Another Redditor remarked: “(It is) more accurate to say that Singapore is the least miserable country in Asia.”
Several online users even dismissed the results as a “joke”.
A handful of netizens, however, urged others to be more appreciative of living in Singapore, which they claimed is better off than other countries in many ways.
“Be thankful. Some have to deal (with living) in a country with heaps of corruption, heavy traffic, (high) crime rates, red tape, natural disasters and threats from foreign invaders,” one user pointed out.
Claiming that Singaporeans have the “strongest reasons” to be happy in Asia, one Facebook user surmised: “We ought to be happy, but many of us aren't? Why? Entitlement maybe?”
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