Economic prosperity can’t guarantee happiness

By | April 3, 2007
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In fact, it may have quite the opposite effect, if you read into the findings of the Happy Planet Index. Compiled by an independent British “think and do” tank called nef (the new economics foundation), the index “addresses the relative success or failure of countries in supporting good life for their citizens, whilst respecting the environmental resource limits upon which our lives depend”.

For all our obsession with being number one, Singapore has been ranked 131st, significantly lower than our less prosperous neighbours like Philippines (17th), Indonesia (23rd), Thailand (32nd) and Malaysia (44th). Proof that money can’t buy happiness, unless you are a minister or top civil servant in Singapore who stands to benefit from another round of salary hike (I can see more unhappy faces already).

Incidentally, the top three on the Happy Planet Index are the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, Colombia and Costa Rica.

Related story:
Singapore’s bleak future

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Elia Diodati

Mindblogging Stuff: Even so, stats like Happy Planet only indicate correlation, *not* causation. Just because you move to Vanuatu doesn’t automatically make you happy. (Although I’m sure the gorgeous scenery doesn’t hurt…)


True, but one part of the index “addresses the relative success or failure of countries in supporting good life for their citizens”, so that’s already a pretty strong indictment of what the PAP government has not done for its people.