Government of the Republic of Fiji
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service
An annual “happiness barometer” ranked Fiji the happiest nation in the world in the lead-up to the New Year.
The survey asked participants to state whether they perceived themselves as “happy” or “unhappy” in 2011.Fiji was the happiest, according to the Global Barometer of Happiness, with a net happiness of 85 per cent.
A total of 1020 people in Fiji were surveyed.
In the region, Australia had a net happiness score of only 38 per cent. The top five nations for happiness levels were:1. Fiji 85 per cent2. Nigeria 84 per cent3. Netherlands 77 per cent4. Switzerland 76 per cent5. Ghana 72 per cent
Amongst the least happy countries were Romania (-10 per cent), Egypt (0 per cent), Palestine (7 per cent) and Serbia (8 per cent).
The global survey was carried out by Canadian pollsters Leger Marketing and its partners, the world’s largest independent network of opinion pollsters, the WIN Association in 58 countries (52,913 interviews). It covered the vast majority of world population.
In one major surprise, Afghanistan, which had a net happiness score of 35 per cent, beat the United States, at 33 per cent.
“That was one that stood out for us,” Leger Marketing said.“And a big part of it is what’s changed in Afghanistan. In the United States, not much has changed over the past year. The de-escalation of the Afghanistan conflict doesn’t affect the United States the way it does Afghanistan.”
People were surveyed face-to-face and over the phone.The network has conducted this annual poll on the eve of New Year since 1977. The global poll which had earlier focused on prospects for the economy added a question this year on ‘Happiness’.The findings turned out to be quite revealing. The attainment of Happiness is aided by economic hopefulness; but often ‘happiness’ refuses to be subdued by economic gloom.The survey finds that nations which are struggling hard to move up the global economic ladder produce a lot of ‘unhappy’ people. Thus net happiness in China is nearly half of global average and stands at 25 per cent.
In contrast the economically-pressured Spaniards score 55 per cent net happiness. Perhaps the feeling to ‘be happy’ is also a cultural trait!
Ministry of Foreign Affairs P. O. Box 2220 Government Buildings Suva, Fiji