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Thriving or struggling: Singapore and other countries

Thriving population (percentage)

Thriving population (percentage)

In an emotional world, Singapore is comfortably numb, reports  Bloomberg Newsweek, citing  Gallup surveys which found Singapore was the most emotionless society in the world. Not many Singaporeans said “yes” or “no” to questions like “Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?”, “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?”, “How about sadness?” Only 36 per cent of Singaporeans responded affirmatively to positive or negative questions, the report says, adding Singaporeans lack satisfaction at work, According to Gallup, only two per cent of the Singapore workforce is happy at work, compared with 11 per cent worldwide,

I couldn’t see those Gallup surveys myself. A free registration allows only a limited access to Gallup’s data.

However, I did see something that might be more surprising, Europeans and Americans are thriving more than Asians, according to Gallup.

Every day we hear about high unemployment and economic problems in the West. Asian economies from Singapore to China and India have been growing faster than those in the West. Yet, asked to evaluate their lives, more Asians than Westerners say they are having a hard time.

Respondents are classified by Gallup as “thriving” if they rate their current life a 7 or higher and their future life an 8 or higher on a scale of 10. Respondents are classified as “suffering” if they rate their current life 0 to 4 and their future life 0 to 4. Those who are neither “thriving” nor “suffering” are classified as “struggling.”  And by those measures more Westerners are thriving and more Asians struggling.

A larger section of the population is thriving in Singapore than in most other Asian countries. But even in Singapore the majority are struggling. In several Western countries, on the other hand, more than half the population is thriving, according to Gallup.

Here are the figures for Singapore, India, China, America, Britain and a few other countries and the dates when they were surveyed. The figures, being rounded off, don’t always add up to 100.


Thriving: 34%, Struggling: 60%, Suffering: 5% September-October 2011

Hong Kong:

Thriving: 20%, Struggling: 66%, Suffering: 14%: June-July 2011


Thriving: 17%, Struggling: 68%, Suffering: 15%: June-July 2011


Thriving: 18%, Struggling: 62%, Suffering: 19% May-June 2012


Thriving: 25%, Struggling:60%,  Suffering: 16%: May-June 2012


Thriving: 26% , Struggling: 70%,  Suffering: 4% March-July 2012


Thriving: 19%, Struggling: 76%, Suffering: 5% May 2012


Thriving: 37% , Struggling:61% ,  Suffering: 2%  June-July 2012

South Korea

Thriving: 39% , Struggling: 52%,  Suffering 9% April-May 2012


Thriving: 28% , Struggling: 60%  Suffering: 12% June-July 2012


Thriving: 58%, Struggling:38% ,  Suffering: 4% June-August 2012


Thriving: 50%, Struggling: 46%, Suffering: 5% January-March 2012


Thriving: 51%, Struggling: 46% ,  Suffering: 3% May-July 2012


Thriving: 67%, Struggling: 31%, Suffering:  2% May 2012


Thriving: 64%, Struggling: 34% ,  Suffering: 2%  March-April 2011

New Zealand

Thriving: 62%, Struggling: 36%, Suffering: 2%   March-April 2012


Thriving: 41%, Struggling: 56%, Suffering: 3%  June-July 2012


Thriving: 43% , Struggling: 51%,  Suffering:  6% January-March 2012


Thriving: 62%, Struggling: 36%:, Suffering:  2%  May-July 2012


Thriving: 61%, Struggling: 39%, Suffering: 1%  December 2009


Thriving: 24%, Struggling: 64%, Suffering: 12% June 2012


Thriving: 71%, Struggling: 27%,  Suffering: 2% May 2012


Thriving: 69%, Struggling: 30%,  Suffering:1%   May-July  2012


Thriving: 70%, Struggling: 28%, Suffering: 1% June-July 2012


Thriving: 34%, Struggling: 61% ,  Suffering: 8% June 2012


Thriving: 14% , Struggling:60%,  Suffering:  26% July 2012


About the author: Abhijit Nag loves reading, writing and getting news and information online.