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Taiwan ranks 31st, highest in East Asia, for people's happiness

03/20/2024 07:11 PM
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CNA file photo
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Taipei, March 20 (CNA) Taiwan was ranked the 31st happiest country and region in the World Happiness Report 2024, published by the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford on Wednesday.

With a score of 6.503 (the highest being 10), Taiwan was the number one East Asian country and region, with Japan scoring 6.06, South Korea 6.058 and China 5.973, ranking 51st, 52nd and 60th respectively.

Taiwan trailed slightly behind Singapore, which ranked 30th with a score of 6.523, according to the report.

Elsewhere in the world, Finland ranked the highest overall for the seventh consecutive year, with a score of 7.741. Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Israel followed, scoring 7.583, 7.525, 7.344 and 7.341, respectively.

The last on the list were Lebanon and Afghanistan, the report showed.

The rankings were determined based on the average scores of individuals' self-reported well-being over three years, from 2021 to 2023, to provide more precise estimates, according to the report

For the first time the report also provided separate rankings for people of different ages.

Taiwan's youths (aged below 30) had a score of 6.908, ranking 25th for the age group, while seniors (aged above 60) scored 6.284 and ranked 34th. The lower middle aged (aged 30-44) ranked 35th and higher middle aged (aged 45-60) 31st.

While there was no great discrepancy between the happiness of different age groups in Taiwan, in some countries the difference was pronounced.

For example, in the United States, which fell out of the top 20 for the first time, from 15th last year to 23rd this year, the happiness of young people ranked in 60th place and was highlighted by the report as the main cause for the country's falling ranking.

The report noted that youths across North America show the same trend, and in Western Europe the trend is similar but less severe.

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, director of Oxford's Wellbeing Research Centre and editor of the report, observed that these youths seem to be "experiencing the equivalent of a mid-life crisis," which demands "immediate policy action."

Meanwhile, Denmark is the happiest nation for seniors and Lithuania the happiest for young people.

People from 143 countries and regions were asked by the Gallup World Poll to evaluate their lives on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the best possible life and 0 being the worst.

Data on six variables, including GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and corruption, were also collected from each country to observe their association with happiness and draw implications for policy makers, according to the report.

The World Happiness Report is a partnership of Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the WHR's Editorial Board.

The report, which has been published annually since 2012, was released to coincide with the U.N.'s International Day of Happiness, which is celebrated on March 20.

(By Lu Ying-tzu and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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