Singapore, Taiwan are Asia's happiest countries: World Happiness Report


Despite a five-place drop in global rankings, Singapore maintains its status as Asia's happiest country, according to the World Happiness Report 2024.

Key points:

  • The report assesses happiness based on six key factors: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and corruption perceptions.

  • Finland leads the global happiness rankings for the fourth consecutive year, with Denmark and Iceland following closely behind. Sweden and Israel make up fourth and fifth place, respectively, while the U.S. sits at 23rd.

  • Singapore maintains its position as the happiest country in Asia for the second consecutive year, although its global ranking fell from 25th to 30th happiest.

The details:

  • The World Happiness Report, the latest edition of which was released on Wednesday, was introduced in 2012 to support the United Nations' sustainable development goals. The report analyzes Gallup World Poll survey data from 149 countries for the past three years (2021-2023) where people rate their lives on a scale of 0-10. This, combined with the six key factors, determines the rankings.

  • Singapore's high GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy and perceived low corruption contribute to its happiness score. However, challenges lie in perceived social support, freedom to make life choices, and generosity, where Singapore falls short. The report also highlights variations in happiness across different age groups, with Singapore's 45-59 age group reporting the highest happiness, while those over 60 scored the lowest.

  • Taiwan follows closely behind Singapore at 31st, making it the second-happiest nation in Asia. Japan (51st), South Korea (52nd) and the Philippines (53rd) round out the top five in the region. The happiness rankings extend further down the list for other Asian countries: Vietnam (54th), Thailand (58th), Malaysia (59th) and China (60th). Mongolia rounds out the top 10 for Asia at 77th globally.

  • Despite not being included in the report due to technicalities, Bhutan, a landlocked country in South Asia, was a special mention. The report noted that the country “made explicit use of the principles of Gross National Happiness in mobilizing the whole population in collaborative efforts to avoid even a single COVID-19 death in 2020, despite having strong international travel links."

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