Friday , 19 April 2024
Children enjoy the swimming pool at Pasig Rainforest Park. (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

Survey finds Filipinos 2nd happiest in Asean

By Rose de la Cruz

Filipinos do not figure in the top and bottom World Happiest Index of Gallup for 2024 but we did land on 2nd in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, next only to Singaporeans.

For the seventh consecutive year, Finland topped the 2024 World Happiness Report of Gallup, the UN, and the University of Oxford. The report contains empirical data based on age, showing a worrying divergence in how global young people are compared to older generations.

The Nordic countries (Europe) dominated the rankings, specifically Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Norway– which have all retained the top 10 spots.

The yearly Happiness rankings are based on subjective life evaluations compiled over the the past three years from the Gallup World Poll. While the rankings are based on answers people give from questions about their own lives, interdisciplinary experts from the field of economics, psychology and sociology are asked to crunch the data and make evaluations based on six key variables namely income (GDP per capita), healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.

Though the Filipinos, in the Happiness Ranking for 2024, placed only 53rd out of 143 countries covered by the Gallup survey, this was 23 notches higher than its previous position of 73rd out of 137 countries in 2023.

Gallup also said that the country’s index score was higher at 6.048 in 2024 compared to 5.523 posted in 2023.“On a 10-point scale, Finland’s average life evaluation ranks it as the happiest country in the world. Afghanistan ranks as the least happy country in the world with a life evaluation of 1.721.”

Gallup said in Southeast Asia, Singapore was considered the happiest country at 30th out of 143 countries with a score of 6.523 in the GHI.

In 2024, Gallup said it was able to generate enough data to disaggregate happiness according to age.

In the Philippines, the data showed older Filipinos or those 60 and above are happier compared to other countries while younger Filipinos below 30 years are less happy compared to other countries.

Older Filipinos obtained for the country the 43rd (out of 143 countries) place with a score of 5.976 in the GHI. Older Singaporeans continue to outrank Filipino seniors at 26th out of 143 countries with a score of 6.477 in the index.

Younger Filipinos or those below 30, gave the country the 70th (out of 143 countries) rank with a score of 6.305 in GHI.

The happiest youngsters in the Asean are the Thais at 45th place, with a score of 6.597 in GHI, followed by Singaporeans at 54th with a GHI score of 6.484I.

Gallup explained: “Some important parts of life are tied mainly to age, such as schooling, employment and health. Others depend more on what is going on in society and the world.”

Gallup said the “ society-wide factors range from violence, earthquakes and pandemics to how new technologies and changing natural and social environments interact with also-changing ways of seeing history, facing inequalities, and connecting with each other.”

The researchers found a growing disparity in well-being between ages depending on their geographical location. Globally, young people aged 15 to 24 reported higher life satisfaction than adults aged 25 and older. But there were significant dips in Western Europe and North America, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia “due to negative trends for young people.”

“Piecing together the available data on the well-being of children and adolescents around the world, we documented disconcerting drops especially in North America and Western Europe,” Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of Oxford’s Well-being Research Centre and an editor of the World Happiness Report, said.

“To think that, in some parts of the world, children are already experiencing the equivalent of a mid-life crisis demands immediate policy action.”

But in the rest of the world, happiness levels for young people and adolescents had largely risen, generally speaking; older people were much happier overall. Those born before 1965 are, on average, happier than those born since 1980.

While for Boomers, life satisfaction was seen to increase with age, for Millennials, the evaluation of their happiness dropped with each year of age, the report showed.

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