Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Jun 13, 2024

Lessons for stressed-out Hong Kong from the latest global happiness report

Lessons for stressed-out Hong Kong from the latest global happiness report

As middle-income economies surpass high-income ones in happiness levels in Ipsos’ latest survey, Hong Kong may need to look beyond GDP to boost contentment. Mainland China topped Ipsos’ list, with respondents citing relationships with family and friends as their top drivers of happiness.

It’s certainly good to know that the world is a happier place, for the second year in a row. At least that’s what a recently conducted global survey on happiness and life satisfaction says.

In its latest report, Paris-based market research and consulting firm Ipsos found global happiness had risen 6 percentage points since last year, with 73 per cent of adults, across 32 markets, describing themselves as happy.

That’s also 10 percentage points higher than in August 2020, when the global health crisis stopped us in our tracks. To find almost three quarters of the world’s adults happy about where they’re at is not bad at all.

We have more than survived; we have persevered and are bouncing back – better and more resilient.

But as the surveyors were quick to put out, the rising happiness tide isn’t lifting all boats. Self-reported happiness rose sharply across Latin America while crashing in many Western countries.

Ipsos highlighted Colombia and Argentina’s 26-point year-on-year gains; Brazil and Peru scored higher by 20 and 18 percentage points, respectively. The UK took a 13-point dive, Poland fell by seven points and Canada by six, while Belgium, Germany, and former “happiness champion” Australia all recorded a five-point happiness drop.

Shoppers in London on March 18. The UK has fallen in Ipsos’ happiness ranking as people struggle with the rising cost of living.

The average happiness rating of middle-income markets has, for the first time since Ipsos started tracking them in 2011, surpassed that of high-income markets. So, it isn’t a case of the more money the merrier.

Mainland China took the champion spot with 91 per cent of happy respondents, followed by Saudi Arabia (86 per cent) and the Netherlands (85 per cent).

China’s position stood out because the poll revealed that on the whole, the top two drivers of happiness are “feeling my life has meaning” and “feeling in control of my life”; yet neither of these were ranked highly by respondents in the happiest place on earth. Instead, Chinese respondents saw family and friends to be their top sources of happiness, with 89 per cent feeling satisfied with their relationships.

Of course, having a sense of purpose isn’t unimportant to the Chinese; it’s just that some relationships take precedence. This perhaps reveals a cultural divide that many in the West may not quite comprehend. For decades, the concept of “Asian values” has been viewed in its politicised form, as an antithesis to “Western values”, making it something to advocate, refute or defend.

A couple play with their children on the outskirts of Shanghai on June 3, 2021.

Associated with its greatest advocates Lee Kuan Yew and Mahathir Mohammad, “Asian values” became an argument that claims the people of different nationalities living in the East and Southeast Asia share common values, like placing community above the individual, or order and harmony over personal freedom and so forth.

But viewed through the lens of the universal human pursuit of happiness, these Confucius-influenced values aren’t so foreign and have deep roots, at least in mainland China. There’s no need to judge. It’s still “whatever floats your boat”, only that friends and families – communitarianism – floats the Chinese boat more.

Ipsos also compared the percentage of happy adults and its Consumer Confidence Index and found they were highly correlated. And while there aren’t any numbers on Hong Kong, we can take reference from one survey by Hong Kong-based market research company Votee measuring happiness among people in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and the Philippines. While Hong Kong ranks highly when it comes to gross domestic product, we came last in the region for overall happiness.

So the pressure is on for Hong Kong officials to address the city’s happiness deficit. When people are more hopeful of the future and see prospects for themselves, they spend more confidently.

Beijing has tasked Hong Kong officials with raising the people’s sense of happiness and contentment. Our consumer confidence has ways to go before we return to the height of pre-2018 levels – our leaders have their work cut out for them.


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.