Comment: Singapore is the 25th happiest country in the world.  Here are some ways to make him happier

Remark: Singapore is the twenty fifth happiest nation on the earth. Listed here are some methods to make him happier

Virtually yearly since 2012, the World Happiness Report (WHR) has documented nationwide happiness scores for lots of of nations all over the world.

Within the WHR’s first and landmark report, Denmark was named the happiest nation on the earth, intently adopted by two different Scandinavian international locations: Finland and Norway.

Nevertheless, Finland has just lately overtaken Denmark because the happiest nation for six consecutive years.

What about Singapore? Maybe to the shock of many Singaporeans, Singapore isn’t doing too badly as a nation in relation to life satisfaction.

Out of greater than 150 international locations within the Gallup World Ballot, which is the information set used to create the WHR’s happiness desk since its inception in 2012, Singapore ranked twenty fifth globally in 2023.

He has a median life analysis rating of 6.6 on an 11-point scale (the place 0 = worst life and 10 = finest life). Then again, Finland, which took the primary place within the rating, has a median life analysis rating of seven.8.

Nevertheless, regardless of being constantly ranked because the happiest nation in Asia, Singapore has not seen a dramatic enchancment in both its rating or its common life satisfaction rating over the previous decade.

Again within the first WHR report in 2012, Singapore was ranked thirty third on the earth with a median livability rating of 6.5.

However ought to we care? After all!

For many years, happiness researchers like myself have discovered constant and infrequently causal proof throughout international locations and time durations that people who find themselves extra happy with their lives are, on common, extra productive, much less more likely to stop, extra trusting, extra prosocial, more healthy and extra more likely to reside longer.

It’s most likely not tough to think about {that a} well-governed nation requires productiveness, belief, well being, pro-sociality, and longevity from its residents.

Briefly, there are a lot of goal advantages to changing into happier in our lives.


So what are we doing proper as a nation? And what are we doing incorrect?

To raised perceive these questions and their solutions, we should first perceive the necessary determinants of life valuation.

Life analysis, which is without doubt one of the foremost indicators of evaluative (or cognitive) well-being, exhibits how happy we’re with our lives usually.

How we reply the query of valuing life relies upon partially on whether or not our life lives as much as our expectations.

It additionally relies upon quite a bit on the environment, our previous and hope for the long run, and our genes.

That’s the reason among the foremost constructive components in life analysis embody a very good job, bodily and psychological well being, a very good earnings, good relationships with associates and households, residing in a protected, steady and well-governed nation, and having a very good social security internet, lots of which is one thing that Singapore does very effectively on a big scale.

Then again, we are likely to really feel worse when different folks like us, reminiscent of the identical gender, age group, and schooling stage, earn extra or advance of their careers quicker than us.

Rising costs and inequality, in addition to the fixed must sustain and evaluate ourselves to others, may take a toll on our bodily and psychological well being, that are the 2 foremost drivers of valuing life.

How we spend our time issues too.

If we spend most of our days doing actions which have a adverse affect on our every day emotional well being, reminiscent of commuting and dealing at meaningless jobs, it’s extremely unlikely that we are going to really feel very happy with our lives.

So what can we do as folks, as enterprise leaders, as a authorities, if we wish to make the entire nation happier?

First, it could be helpful to know that it’s not all the time a trade-off between prosperity and financial progress. Many people consider that we have to sacrifice our happiness at this time for financial prosperity and happiness sooner or later.

Nevertheless, easy changes to how we spend might help enhance how a lot every greenback can purchase us when it comes to happiness.

For instance, analysis in psychology has proven that folks typically derive extra happiness from experiential purchases, reminiscent of paying for a yoga class or trip, than from materials purchases, and from prosocial spending, reminiscent of spending cash on others, reminiscent of associates or household than from self-expenditure.

There are additionally necessary roles for enterprise and authorities.

For instance, the “4-Day Week” experiment, by which lots of of corporations all over the world launched a four-day, 32-hour work week with equal pay for his or her staff, proved profitable in enhancing the general well-being of staff with out sacrificing their productiveness in return.

As a substitute of an earnings tax, the federal government can exchange it with a progressive consumption tax.

It’s just like the present Items and Providers Tax (GST), besides that tax charges begin low for affordable items (reminiscent of meals) or costly however important (reminiscent of medical gadgets) earlier than rising sharply for very costly ones tangible items (for instance, luxurious watches).

Such a tax would assist cut back the demand for ostentatious consumption, which is wasteful and dangerous to public welfare.

There may be additionally a lot to be stated for creating a robust sense of neighborhood amongst folks residing in the identical space and educating folks the science of happiness in any respect ranges, from elementary faculty to college.


Definitely, there are a lot of extra alternatives to enhance the happiness of the nation. However maybe a very good start line for us could be to start out taking these measures extra critically.

This may be carried out by gathering and analyzing our personal knowledge on well-being, which many authorities companies such because the UK’s Workplace for Nationwide Statistics and the Group for Financial Co-operation and Improvement have been doing for the previous decade.

We should first know what contributes to prosperity in Singapore earlier than we will give you any insurance policies to enhance it in the long term.

At present, little or no has been carried out to trace the general well-being of Singaporeans, be it life satisfaction, psychological well being and objective in life on the inhabitants stage.

One resolution to this may very well be for the Census Bureau to start out together with questions on private well-being in its annual inhabitants surveys.

And with such knowledge, we might be capable to monitor how the well-being of Singaporeans evolves over time, particularly throughout probably the most tough occasions, such because the Covid-19 pandemic.

Up to now, there has solely been one examine by Dr. Terence Cheng (Harvard College), Dr. Songhun Kim (Singapore Administration College) and Dr. Kangyok Ko (Korea College) that confirmed how the life satisfaction of aged Singaporeans dropped dramatically earlier than and after the Covid-19 Lockdown , earlier than returning to virtually pre-lockout ranges 13 months later.

As 2001 Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz as soon as stated: What you measure impacts what you do. In the event you’re not measuring the fitting factor, you are not doing the fitting factor.

And measuring the general well-being of residents, whether or not it is their life analysis, psychological well being, or objective in life, is the fitting factor to do.


Nathwood (Nick) Paudtavi is Professor of Economics at Nanyang Technological College, Singapore. He’s the creator of The Happiness Equation: The Stunning Economics of Our Most Useful Asset and co-author of The Origins of Happiness: The Science of Lifelong Properly-Being.

Author: ZeroToHero

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *