Where is Malaysia in terms of world happiness?

Sticking with the Nation branding theme of the previous post, the 2016 World Happiness report is out. You can download the full report here. Of the 157 countries that participated in the project, Malaysia is the 47th most happy country, 25 places below Singapore at 22 and way above Indonesia at 79.

Denmark top of the world happiness index
Denmark top of the world happiness index

The sample size is 3,000 and its purpose is to, “survey the scientific underpinnings of measuring and understanding subjective well-being.” One section of the methodology caught my eye, “..continued with our attempts to explain the levels and changes in average national life evaluations among countries around the world. This year we shall still consider the geographic distribution of life evaluations among countries, while extending our analysis to consider in more detail the inequality of happiness – how life evaluations are distributed among individuals within countries and geographic regions.” It caught my eye but I’m not sure what it means!

One argument in the report suggests “people are happier living in societies where there is less inequality of happiness.” Which I think means “People are happier where everyone is happy.” If I’m right, I don’t think that’s particularly ground breaking information.

However, the section on Measuring and understanding happiness is interesting and worth a look. In fact the whole report is worth a look but I won’t be taking it too seriously. Oh, and the happiest country in the world? Denmark. Why, because everyone looks out for everyone else. The government’s social policy really is social and embraces everyone which has created a civil society where everyone has the freedom and income to make their own life choices. Food for thought there.


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