Jul 17, 2024

Filipinos are happier nowadays. Photo by Beth Macdonald on Unsplash.

April 1, 2024 — Filipinos are saying they are happier these days.

This the reason why the Philippines is the most improved nation in the latest annual ranking of happiest countries in the world.

The country jumped 23 spots in the 2024 World Happiness Report, ranking 53rd out of 143 nations, compared to its place of 76th in 2023.

Meanwhile, Canadians are getting less happy.

This is why Canada in the 2024 World Happiness Report dropped to 15th place from its previous rank of 13th place.

Finland topped the list as the Number 1 happiest country in the world. Afghanistan took the bottom spot at 143rd place.

The World Happiness Report is a partnership of Gallup, Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and the editorial board of the report.

The latest report explains that countries are ranked according to self-assessed life evaluations, averaged over three years.

“Our happiness rankings are based on life evaluations, as the more stable measure of 

the quality of people’s lives,” the report states.

The report notes that typically around 1,000 responses are gathered annually for each country. 

CTV News interviewed Canadian economist and World Happiness Report founding editor John Helliwell about the report.

"What's happened in Canada and the United States is that over the past few years, those under 30 have become much less happy than they were 10 or a dozen years ago," Helliwell told the news agency.

"There hasn't been much change among the over 60s, and it's not matched by anything by way of changes to their life circumstances, so it's clearly an angst,” Helliwell also said.

The World Happiness Report uses six key variables to help explain life evaluations by respondents.

These six factors are a country’s gross domestic product or GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and perceptions of corruption. 

CTV News also noted in its report that the new listing that showed Canada slipping comes as “higher inflation puts pressure on Canadians’ wallets”.

Philippine newspapers took note of the significant rise of the Philippines in the world listing.

“The Philippines is the most-improved nation year on year between 2023 and this year’s report, climbing 23 places,” Jonathan Whitney, head of communications at Oxford Wellbeing Research Center, said in an e-mail quoted by the BusinessWorld newspaper. 

The Philippine Star newspaper noted that the Philippines is the second happiest nation in the Southeast Asian region after Singapore.

“The dramatic enhancement in the happiness of Filipinos coincided with the rise in the satisfaction, trust, and approval ratings of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. revealed in two independent national surveys,” the paper reported.  

One of these surveys was done by the Social Weather Stations from December 8 to 11, 2023, which showed that 65 percent of adult Filipinos were satisfied with the performance of President Marcos Jr.

The other poll was conducted by the OCTA Research from  on December 10 to14, 2023, in which respondents gave Marcos Jr. a score of 76 percent in trust rating and a 71 percent approval rating. 

The Philippine Star noted that the two scores are higher than the 73 percent trust rating and 65 percent approval rating received by President Marcos Jr. in October 2023.

Meanwhile, USA Today noted that for the first time since the World Happiness Report was first released 12 years ago, the United States didn’t make it to the world’s top 20 happiest countries.

“It sits at No. 23, the United Arab Emirates is ranked at 22 and Slovenia at 21,”  the publication said about the ranking of the U.S.

The top 20 happiest countries in the world in the 2024 World Happiness Report are:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Kuwait
  14. Austria
  15. Canada
  16. Belgium
  17. Ireland
  18. Czechia
  19. Lithuania
  20. United Kingdom

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