By Corina Oliquino | FilAm Star Correspondent
MANILA – In its 41st annual Global end of Year Survey, Gallup ranked the Philippines as the third happiest country in the world.
The survey, which was conducted in late 2017 and spanned 55 countries worldwide said the Philippines got a net score (happy minus unhappy) of +84, just behind the happiest country in the world, Fiji (at +92) and Colombia (+87).
The Philippines also placed 3rd among 66 countries in 2016, obtaining a net happiness score of +79, behind Fiji and China.
Despite the country’s positive result, Gallup International poll says the world in general is less happy with about two-thirds (59 percent) of the respondents claim they are happy – 10 points lower than a year ago, in 2016.
“2017 was a tough year with terrorist attacks over almost each week and it may have influenced personal lives all around the world, “ Gallup reported.
“Nevertheless, a majority in all polled countries is happy. The world today shares +49 net happiness – compared to +59 a year ago. Throughout 55 countries surveyed, 8 percent said that they were unhappy – almost the same with 9 percent at the end of 2016 and 10 percent at the end of 2015,” Gallup added.
Economic optimism and hope
According to Rappler, Gallup International also measured the world’s hopefulness and economic optimism in 2018.
According to Gallup International’s Hope Index, the Philippines is tied with Kosovo in 8th and 9th places, respectively, with a net score of +40 while Indonesia is the most hopeful country at +67 and Italy is the least at -41.
In its Economic Optimism Index, the Philippines ranked 5th, with a net score of +32. Nigeria has placed first at +59, while Italy is again at last place, with a net score of -50.
Moreover, Gallup International also noted that hope and economic optimism worldwide has dwindled in 2017, compared to its results in 2016.
“A bit less than 40 percent of the surveyed global population feels that 2018 will be better than 2017, which is 13 points down compared to a year ago.
Twenty-three percent expect a worse one. Thirty-two percent believe 2018 is going to be the same as 2017 and the other 6 percent do not know,” Gallup International reported.
“Although hope leads ranking for another year, the number of optimists is decreasing throughout the world — as last New Year’s Eve was expected with a majority of 52 percent of the planet feeling that 2017 will be better than 2016. A year ago, 15 percent felt that a worse year was on its way, but nowadays their share is 23 percent thus, giving a net score of +16 (39 percent – 23 percent),” Gallup International added.
According to the survey, the worldwide decrease in hope reveals concerns and worries as the world is “turning into a more hectic and a less predictable place over the last year.”
“The 55 countries show the emergence of a global society in which national borders are being overtaken by world-wide lifestyle segments. Thus, according to the survey, the attitudes of youth across the world are more similar to each other than to the older population within their own national borders. The same is true for survey findings across lifestyles characterized by Incomes and levels of Education. Net Happiness across the 55 countries polled by survey is 15 percent point higher among the Young (under 34 years of age) than among the older population (above 55 years of age),” Ijaz Gilani, Gallup Pakistan (Global Barometer project leader) said in the published report.
“The upscale income groups across these 55 countries are 32 percent points happier than the bottom 20 percent groups in their societies. The college degree holders are 13 percent happier than those whose education is up to primary school or those who are illiterate. The analysis team of the global survey argues: Happiness depends less on the country in which you live and more on your Age, Income and Education profile or lifestyle,” Gilani added.
Palace gives President Duterte credit for PH’s third happiest country title
In a report by GMA News, Malacañang on January 2, gave President Duterte credit over a recent Gallup International survey, which ranked the Philippines the third happiest country in the world in the second year running.
“On the other hand, hope about the country’s economic prosperity and hope about the new year can be attributed to the palpable change our people have felt under the leadership of President Duterte,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.
“Our economy is one of the fastest growing in the region. The local stock market ended the last trading day of 2017 at an all-time-high. Board of Investments-approved investments are record-breaking. The government decisively liberated Marawi. Our people have, indeed, appreciated these changes as reflected in the survey numbers,” Roque added.
Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Sec. Marin Andanar says the survey came “even in the bleakest and dire moments” of the Philippines’ history.
“Filipinos have shown their immense capacity for hope and happiness,” Andanar said.
“In the coming months and years of this administration, we are determined to give greater substance and a more solid foundation for our people’s happiness through a booming economy, effective governance, enduring peace and justice,” Andanar added.