In country’s first Happiness Index, DoSM finds Malaysians generally upbeat despite Covid-19, economic crisis

·3-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, July 22 — Malaysia is happy on the whole despite the pandemic and economic crisis, according to findings by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the first-ever Malaysia Happiness Index (MHI) 2021 found that most Malaysians are satisfied with their lives, following a nationwide survey conducted by the department.

“Overall, Malaysians are at a happy level despite the country facing the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and economic crisis in 2021, the year when the MHI Survey 2021 was conducted.

“This scenario might be different in future studies. The survey findings showed that there is no significant gap between strata, ethnic, age group, gender, educational attainment, and marital status in measuring the level of happiness in Malaysia,” he said during the launch of MHI 2021 at the DoSM headquarters here today.

The survey has 73 indicators covered under the 13 components of MHI, namely family, housing and environment, social participation, health, communication facilities, education, working life, income, public safety, time use, religion and spiritual, culture and emotional experience.

Categorisation was based on a score of one to 10 from very unhappy to very happy to indicate how satisfied respondents are, whereby a score above 6.01 means they are happy.

Analysis by gender showed that females (6.49) recorded a higher score than males (6.46).

There were nine out of 13 MHI components of which females scored higher than males, namely family (7.25), social participation (6.46), health (6.78), communication facilities (6.14), education (6.35), income (6.07), time use (6.74), religion and spiritual (7.26) and culture (6.25).

The remaining three components — namely working life (6.31), public safety (6.28) and emotional experience (6.16) showed males’ happiness index score was higher than females. Meanwhile, the housing and environment component (6.39) — recorded the same score for both sexes.

Ranked according to state, MHI showed the Federal Territories dominated the top three places in the happiness index, with Labuan recording 9.29, followed by Kuala Lumpur (7.77) and Putrajaya (7.28).

This was followed by Terengganu (7.20), Kelantan (7.02) Perlis (6.96), Pahang (6.75), Johor (6.69), Sarawak (6.69), Negri Sembilan (6.68), Pulau Pinang (6.65), Kedah (6.59), Perak (6.35) and Sabah (6.28).

Two states scored less than six, which showed respondents are moderately happy, and they were Melaka (5.85) and Selangor (5.74).

In terms of ethnicity and age, the survey said all ethnic groups were at a happy level, with a score value of between 6.28 and 6.50.

The highest index score for Bumiputera was the religion and spiritual component, which was 7.33.

Meanwhile, the highest index score for Chinese and Indians was the family component, with a score of 7.32 and 7.15 respectively.

The happiness index score by age group showed that all polled were at a happy level and the highest index score was for the age group of 55 to 59 years (6.51).

The survey ran between September and November last year encompassing 42,446 respondents from all walks of life nationwide.

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