Health and Fitness

Filipinos Are Unhappier With Their Lives Compared to Last Year, Regardless of Area and Social Class

We're the most unhappy and dissatisfied we've been in four years, said SWS.
IMAGE Freepik - jcomp

It seems that 2018 was a particularly rough year for Filipinos, as the latest survey from market analyst Social Weather Stations (SWS) revealed that happiness and satisfaction with life among Filipino adults hit their lowest levels in four years.

In the survey, which was conducted in December 2018 among 1,440 Filipino adults around the country, 13 percent of participants said that they were either “not very happy” or “not at all happy” with their current situations. Moreover, 17 percent of them said that they were either “not very satisfied” or “not at all satisfied” with their lives.

Posted by Social Weather Stations on Saturday, March 16, 2019

While those figures are still relatively small compared to the number of respondents who said that they were happy and satisfied with life—87 percent and 82 percent respectively—the SWS noted that these unhappiness and dissatisfaction figures were the highest they’ve been since 2014.

“The Unhappiness score of 13 percent in December 2018 is the highest since the 15 percent in December 2014,” wrote the SWS in the report. “The Dissatisfaction with Life score of 18 percent in December 2018 is the highest since the 21 percent in September 2014.”

Posted by Social Weather Stations on Saturday, March 16, 2019

Unhappiness Throughout the Country

The rising unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life in Filipino adults was observed in all parts of the country, as SWS highlighted that both scores rose in each of the four areas that the survey participants reside in.

Metro Manila had the most number of unhappy respondents, with 17 percent saying that they were either not very happy or not at all happy, up from 10 percent the year prior. Participants from the rest of Luzon followed at 14 percent, more than doubling from six percent in December 2017. Participants from both the Visayas and Mindanao areas had an average Unhappiness score of 11 percent, jumping from six percent and four percent respectively.


The National Capital Region also had the highest number of participants who said they were dissatisfied with life, but it tied with Mindanao with a Dissatisfaction with Life score of 19 percent, a rise from seven percent and nine percent respectively in December 2017. This was followed by the rest of Luzon, where the score rose from five percent to 17 percent, and finally by the Visayas, where the score increased from 11 percent to 14 percent.

Unhappiness Across Social Classes

The SWS survey also pointed out that unhappiness and dissatisfaction levels rose across all social classes. Unfortunately, both scores were directly proportional to social class in that participants in lower social classes were generally less happy and satisfied than those in higher classes.

Class E participants had the highest score at 20 percent, doubling from 10 percent a year ago. Class D followed with a score of 12 percent, more than double its 5-percent score in December 2017. And classes A, B, and C had the lowest unhappiness levels at nine percent, though it was still higher than the year-before figure of seven percent.

The same trend was seen in the Dissatisfaction with Life scores, with Classes E and D getting scores of 25 percent and 17 percent respectively, both more than doubling from a year ago. Conversely, classes A, B, and C didn’t see a change in their Dissatisfaction with Life score, staying at eight percent this year.

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Lorenzo Kyle Subido
Lorenzo Kyle Subido is a staff writer for Esquire Philippines.
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