Health and Fitness

The Philippines is the 69th Happiest Country in the World

We're slightly happier compared to last year, according to the World Happiness Report.
IMAGE Jilson Tiu
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The Philippines slightly improved its ranking in this year’s World Happiness Report, a global survey that measures the happiness of individuals from 156 countries.

For the 2019 survey, the Philippines ranked 69th with an average score of 5.631, representing the levels of happiness perceived by Filipino participants in themselves. It’s a slight improvement from the year prior, when the Philippines ranked 71st with a score of 5.524.

That score also means that the Philippines is the fifth happiest nation in Asia, behind only Taiwan (which ranked 25th globally), Singapore (34th), Thailand (52nd), and Pakistan (67th).

Finland emerged as the happiest country on Earth with an average score of 7.769. On the other end of the rankings is South Sudan with a happiness score of 2.853.

Quantifying happiness

It might seem weird to quantify happiness, but those scores are based on the Cantril Ladder, one of several subjective measurements on personal wellbeing. The World Happiness Report explains: “It asks respondents to think of a ladder, with the best possible life for them being a 10, and the worst possible life being a 0. They are then asked to rate their own current lives on that 0 to 10 scale.”

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So with the slightly improved score, Filipinos are generally more optimistic about their lives now compared to last year.

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In fact, the World Happiness Report pointed out that the happiness levels of Filipinos now saw one of the biggest jumps from when the survey started in 2005. When comparing average scores from 2005-2008 to 2016-2018, the Philippines had the 12th biggest positive change.

Contradictory results

The results of the World Happiness Report contradict a recent local study by Social Weather Stations (SWS), which revealed that the happiness and satisfaction level among Filipino adults have hit a four-year low in December 2018. While a majority of Filipinos are still happy and satisfied with life, more respondents are saying that they are unhappy and dissatisfied with their current situations when compared to previous years.

While both results prove how happiness is relative, we can’t help but wonder how happy Filipinos actually are.

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