Washington, April 13 (CNA) Taiwan's suffering index dropped to 5 percent in 2011, well below the Asian average of 11 percent, in the latest annual Gallup survey of 157 countries on well-being.
The suffering index measures respondents' perceptions of where they stand on a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0 to 10, where "0" represents the worst possible life.
Individuals are considered to be "suffering" if they rate their current lives a 4 or lower and expect their lives to be the same in five years.
In Taiwan, only 5.3 percent of the people were classified as suffering, down 3 percentage points from the previous year and down 9 percentage points from 2009.
Asian countries overall scored well in the survey, with a suffering index averaging 11 percent, compared with 14 percent in Europe and 6 percent in the Americas.
Other suffering indexes in the region were 4.5 percent in Vietnam, 6.2 percent in Malaysia, 6.5 percent in South Korea, 9.4 percent in Indonesia, 9.8 percent in Japan, and 12 percent in China.
Thailand, at 1.0 percent, was the Asian country with the lowest suffering index and trailed only Brazil, Switzerland and Norway among all countries surveyed.
The countries with the highest suffering index were Bulgaria at 45 percent, Yemen (38 percent), Armenia (35 percent), and El Salvador (33 percent).
Though Taiwan made progress in the "suffering" part of the index in 2011 from the year before, it fared slightly worse in the number of those who were classified as thriving, falling to 31 percent from 32 percent in 2010.
Compared with other countries in the region, that was on a par with Singapore, where 34 percent of respondents were considered thriving, better than Japan (26 percent) and China (18 percent), but worse than South Korea (50 percent) and Thailand (46 percent).
The survey was conducted through face-to-face interviews or via telephone on around 1,000 people per country aged over 15 in 157 countries. In Taiwan, 1,001 people were interviewed between June 15 and Oct. 6, and the poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.
(By Jay Chou and Lilian Wu)