PHILIPPINES AND HAPPINESS
Family, health, religion make
Filipinos most happy
11 October, 2007
For the people of the Philippines,
family, health, and religion are the
three most important sources of
happiness. Sex ranks among the least
A study, conducted by the National
Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB),
shows that Filipinos ranked family as
the most important source of
happiness, giving it a score of 9.45
on a scale of 1 to 10. Health came
next, with a score of 8.95, while
religion ranked third with 8.59.
Other important sources of happiness
include friends (8.57), financial
security (8.3), education (8.25), love
life (8.2), and work (7.94).
According to the NSCB, it was “quite
surprising” that sex – presented
independently of love life – was not
an important source of happiness, and
that at 14th place, it was ranked
among the five least important
sources, with a score of 6.39.
In a statement, the NSCB said the
survey showed that politics was the
least important source of happiness,
with a score of 5.84. Other
unimportant domains of happiness are
cultural activities (5.88), community
and volunteer work (6.24), and
In terms of level of happiness, the
study by the NSCB also found that
Filipinos were happy with their family
life, with a happiness index rating of
88.5%. They were also happy with their
friends (83.6%), religion (79.8%) and
love life (79.4%).
While sex life did not rank as an
important source of happiness,
respondents gave it a happiness index
rating of 72.6%, which means that they
were happier with sex than they were
with work (71%), leisure and sports
(70%), financial security (68.8%), and
cultural activities (66.6%).
The study also found that people were
happier “with domains that are within
their control than those not within
their control like politics” and that
6 out of
10 respondents thought that progress
was synonymous with happiness.
The study revealed that women were
happier than men, and that happiness
increased with income.
The study by the National Statistical
Coordination Board was based on a
non-random poll of 167 respondents
conducted during the National
Convention on Statistics held in the
beginning of October 2007.
Non-random sampling meant that the
Board only gave out the questionnaires
to those who wanted to answer it
during the convention without a
specific target group in mind,
according to Jessamyn Encarnacion of
the NSCB’s Social Statistics Office
and co-author of the paper titled
Measuring Progress of Philippine
Society: Gross National Product or
Gross National Happiness.
The factors that the questionnaire
listed were: family, friends,
religion, love life, health,
education, sex life, work, leisure and
sports, community and volunteer work,
technological know-how, income and
financial security, cultural
activities, environment, economy,
government, and politics.
The NSCB has conducted two pilot tests
of the questionnaire, which was
formulated in relation to a proposed
Philippine Happiness Index.
The Philippines comes in the
“middle-range” of the World Happiness
Index, with a rating of 6.4, alongside
India (6.2), Iran, (6.0), Poland
(5.9), and South Korea (5.8.)
Denmark topped the World Happiness
Index (which lists 95 countries), with
a rating of 8.2.