How did Singapore change from one of the happiest countries in the world to the unhappiest? “A recent Gallup report shows that Singapore’s wealthy population is the unhappiest — less happy than the populations of Iraq, Haiti, Afghanistan, and Syria,” reports CNN.
Yet only two years ago, in 2010, National Geographic published a book covering Singapore and Denmark as two of the happiest countries in the world—based on earlier Gallup polls.
Dan Buettner wrote in Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way:
Independent studies conducted between 2000 and 2009 reported higher levels of happiness in Singapore than in any other Asian nation. The World Values Survey found 95 per cent of the people in Singapore were very happy or quite happy. In 2005-2009 the Gallup organization interviewed a cross-section of people in each of more than 130 countries around the globe. Citizens were asked to rank their current circumstances on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the “best possible life”. Researchers asked Singaporeans if they felt well rested, treated with respect, experienced smiling or laughing, engaged in learning or interest, or felt enjoyment, and also about negative experiences, including physical pain, worrying, sadness, stress, depression or anger, to arrive at a measure of daily experiences. Singaporeans rated a 6.9, and only 2 per cent reported feeling depressed.