On 16 March, the World Happiness Report 2016 by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations revealed that Singapore is ranked as the happiest nation in the Asia Pacific Region. Singapore scored 6.739 in the “happy index”, which also placed her as the 22nd happiest country in the world.
The survey consisted of polling of about 3,000 people in each country, where they evaluated their life in eleven categories on a scale from 0 to 10. Differences in real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity in each country accounted for the difference in “happy index” scores. A total of 157 countries participated in the survey this year.
The survey is based on polls done by international research and performance-management company Gallup, using the Gallup World Poll methodology. Studies were conducted in more than 160 countries that include 99% of the world's adult population. Gallup surveys respondents through telephone interviewing using nationally representative lists of phone numbers in more developed countries. In the developing world, face-to-face interviewing is carried out in randomly selected households. Gallup reports that coverage includes rural areas of countries as well, except for cases in areas where the safety of surveyors is threatened.
The top ten happiest countries this year came up to be the same as those in the 2015 report, although the order in which they rank has changed. Denmark ranks as happiest country in the world once again with a “happy index” score of 7.526, followed closely by Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.
This year’s report also included a new component, where countries are ranked according to their citizens’ “equality of well-being”, which measures the distribution of welfare in each country. In this component, Singapore ranks as the fourth most equal society in the world.
For the full report by the UN, click here.