Singapore is the happiest country in Asia for the second time in a row

We're ranked 30th happiest globally in the World Happiness Report 2024

Cheryl Sekkappan
Written by
Cheryl Sekkappan
Deputy Editor, Time Out Singapore
Singapore HDB
Photograph: Shutterstock

Singapore is ranked the 30th happiest country in the world and the happiest country in Asia for 2021 to 2023, according to the World Happiness Report 2024. This is also the second time running that we've topped the happiness chart for Asia. 

Overall, Finland emerged as the happiest country in the world, followed by Denmark and Iceland. Although Singapore remains top in Asia, our global ranking has dropped five places from 25th happiest in the world last year to 30th happiest in the world this year. In Asia, we're trailed by Taiwan (#31), Japan (#51), South Korea (#52), and the Philippines (#53). 

The rankings are based on data from the Gallup World Poll which measures a population's evaluation of their happiness, averaged over three years from 2021 to 2023. Researchers also took into account six key factors to draw an overall picture of a country's happiness, namely GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption.

We can guess that Singapore fared well on GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, and corruption (or the perceived lack of it), which the editors of the 2024 World Happiness Report confirmed with CNBC. Where we didn't do so well was in "perceived social support, freedom to make life choices, and generosity". 

Interestingly, the World Happiness Report 2024 also focused on the happiness of people at different stages of life, coming up with happiness rankings for the young (below 30 years old), lower middle (30-44), upper middle (45-59), and the old (above 60). In Singapore, those in the upper middle age range reported being the happiest, while those 60 years old and above reported being the unhappiest. More support from the government aside, it's perhaps a timely reminder that the elderly and needy around us need a little more love too. 

Here are the top 10 happiest countries in Asia: 

  1. Singapore 
  2. Taiwan
  3. Japan
  4. South Korea
  5. Philippines
  6. Vietnam
  7. Thailand
  8. Malaysia
  9. China
  10. Mongolia


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