Singapore has been ranked 26th out of 155 countries in the 2017 World Happiness Report, falling four spots from its 2016 position.
According to the report, the country had also dropped in its overall happiness score by 0.068 points to 6.572.
However, it remains the happiest country across Asia based on the report’s rating.
The survey was published by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network which stated that its analysis of the levels, changes, and determinants of happiness among and within nations continued to be based chiefly on individual life evaluations, roughly 1,000 per year in each of more than 150 countries.
The report gives special attention to the social foundations of happiness for individuals and nations. Chapter 2 of the report (“The Social Foundations of World Happiness”) starts with global and regional charts showing the distribution of answers, from roughly 3000 respondents in each of more than 150 countries, to a question asking them to evaluate their current lives on a ladder where 0 represents the worst possible life and ten the best possible.
The scale was measured by answers to the Cantril ladder question, “Please imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”
When the global population is split into ten geographic regions, the resulting distributions vary greatly in both shape and average values. Average levels of happiness also differ across regions and countries. A difference of four points in average life evaluations, on a scale that runs from 0 to 10, separates the ten happiest countries from the ten unhappiest countries.
Scandinavian countries take the top three spots, with Norway as the happiest country in the world, Denmark ranked second, and Iceland in third place.
Switzerland, Finland, and the Netherlands rank fourth, fifth, and eighth respectively, while Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden round up the top ten.
In Asia, Thailand ranks 32nd, with Taiwan 33rd, Malaysia 42nd, and Japan 51st.
The United States is in 14th place, falling one spot from the previous year.
Professor Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, told Reuters that Trump’s policies were all aimed at increasing inequality, including tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the healthcare rolls, and cutting Meals on Wheels in order to raise military spending.
“I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction,” he told the media.
He also added that happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government.