mental health

Filipinos’ happiness back to pre-pandemic levels – report

Michelle Abad

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Filipinos’ happiness back to pre-pandemic levels – report

PARK. Filipinos at a playground in the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City in a photo released on January 14, 2024.

Quezon City Government/Facebook

Among different age groups, the youth, or those under 30 years old, were relatively the 'happiest' among Filipinos, according to the latest World Happiness Report

MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos are now as happy as they were prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that left the country in a public health crisis, the newest World Happiness Report (WHR) found.

According to the 2024 WHR, Filipinos evaluated their lives at a score of 6.05, with the best possible life at 10, and the worst possible at 0. The report uses the average scored in the three previous years, or from 2021 to 2023.

It surpassed the 2020 report’s 6.006 score, which used the 2017-2019 average.

When the pandemic struck, Filipinos’ happiness dropped, with a score of 5.88, the average from the years 2018 to 2020. The 2021 WHR also isolated the 2020 score, which was 5.08.

In the 2024 report, the Philippines ranked 53rd among 143 countries.

Among different age groups in the Philippines, the youth, or those under 30 years old, were relatively the “happiest” among Filipinos. The Philippines’ youth evaluated their lives with a score of 6.31.

Meanwhile, the lower middle-aged group of Filipinos, or those aged 30 to 44, was “least happy,” with a score of 5.85. However, upper middle-aged folks, aged 45 to 59, came close at 5.86.

Happiness picked up again among the elderly, at 5.98.

In Southeast Asia, the Philippines was second to Singapore, whose happiness score is 6.52. Vietnam comes close to the Philippines at 6.04.

The study also measured longer-term changes in happiness for the period 2006 to 2010, compared with the most recent period of 2021-2023. Here, the Philippines came first in Southeast Asia, with an increase of 1.223 from the two periods.

The Philippines ranked quite high overall in positive change, at 9th place.

The WHR is based on data from American market research company Gallup, analyzed by a University of Oxford-led global team. It was launched in 2012 to support the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

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[OPINION] Are Filipinos really a happy people?

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World situation

Nordic countries dominated the 2024 WHR. Finland landed the top spot, with an average score of 7.74. It was followed by Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan was at the bottom of the ranking, with a score of 1.72. Lebanese people came second to the last, at 2.71.

Across the world, the 2024 WHR noted how rising unhappiness among younger people in the United States and some western European countries caused their countries to fall in the index.

Meanwhile, the elderly seemed to have the same outlook on life regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Life evaluations among the old were maintained or even improved despite COVID morbidity and mortality being much higher for that age group,” the report said.

Boomers and the generations that preceded them, or those born before 1965, are a point higher than those born after 1980, or millennials and Gen Z.

Global happiness inequality has increased more than 20% over the past 12 years across all regions and age groups, the report found. – with reports from Reuters/

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Michelle Abad

Michelle Abad is a multimedia reporter at Rappler. She covers the rights of women and children, migrant Filipinos, and labor.