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 important factors.

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 government (6.53).

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.




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