Some People Not Convinced That S’pore is Ranked 25th Happiest Country in the World


It’s surprising enough that Singapore landed on a list of happiest countries in the world because we as a society think we are quite literally the opposite of happy, let alone happiest.

But to our dismay, in the latest World Happiness Report, we are ranked the 25th happiest country in the world. Out of more than 150 countries.

Now, 25th is by no means a fantastic place, but for Singapore? Are you kidding me?

How Did We Come to This Conclusion?

The World Happiness Report 2023 was released on Monday, 20 March, in line with the International Day of Happiness.

It is done by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network and is mainly based on Gallup World Poll data.

Singapore, which improved by two places from last year, now claims the title of one of the two happiest countries in Asia alongside Taiwan, which took Singapore’s previous spot as 27th this time.

Other Asian countries ranked significantly lower, with neighbouring countries Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia at 55th, 60th, 65th, 76th and 83rd positions, respectively.

Asian powerhouses Japan, China and India ranked 47th, 64th and 126th, respectively.

For the sixth consecutive year, Finland took the top spot as the world’s happiest country. Unsurprisingly, other Scandinavian countries such as Sweden and Norway, and New Zealand, were among the top.

Countries ridden by war, such as Afghanistan, took one of the bottom few places.

Factors Behind The Rankings

The main factors used to determine how “happy” a country was included GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, perceptions of corruption and dystopia.

The Gallup World Poll used for the report gathered responses from 1,000 respondents from each country surveyed.

According to the report, they were asked to assess their current life as a whole using the image of a ladder, with the best current life being a 10 while the worst was a 0.

The rankings were deduced based on a three-year average of these “life evaluations” from 2020, 2021 and 2022.

However, for some countries, including Singapore and China, data was unavailable for 2022, meaning the average was only taken from 2020 and 2021.

How accurate is it, then?


Is This a Joke?

Obviously, the general sentiment towards this ranking was disbelief.

Netizens on the popular r/singapore community on Reddit had many questions and doubts regarding this report.

Some questioned the indicators used to determine how happy our country was and what kind of methodology they used.

Image: Reddit

In response to a Redditor asking how they even came to this conclusion without conducting interviews or surveys, this user explained how they conducted their methodology. But another argued that the wording of “25th happiest country in the world” could be more accurately changed to something else.

Image: Reddit

Some comments definitely provoked thought about the legitimacy of this, erm, survey.

Image: Reddit

Of course, no Reddit thread is complete without someone complaining about the exorbitant housing prices here, a reasonable cause for unhappiness.

Image: Reddit

This is the Singaporean experience summed up in one sentence.

Image: Reddit

Everyone is unhappy in one way or another, but the grass is always greener on the other side.

Image: Reddit

But of course, for a country to take as high as the 25th spot on such a ranking, there must be at least some happy people here.

After all, happiness is subjective.