The World Happiness Report 2024: Singapore Leads in Asia

Singapore has once again emerged as the happiest country in Asia, holding onto its title for the second consecutive year. The 2024 World Happiness Report, which ranks 143 places worldwide, placed Singapore in 30th position. The top spots were claimed by Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. This report, a collaboration between renowned researchers and well-being scientists, relies on data from the Gallup World Poll gathered over three years from 2021 to 2023.

The study delves into six key factors that contribute to the overall happiness rankings: GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, generosity, and perception of corruption. Analysis of these factors offers insights into why individuals rate their quality of life as they do. Singapore excelled in GDP per capita and received high marks for its low perception of corruption, which indicates a clean government and a populace with little tolerance for corrupt practices.

Despite its high ranking, Singapore falls short in other areas such as social support, freedom to make life choices, and generosity. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Director of the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford University, highlighted the country’s lower scores in these aspects. He commented that Singapore seems to underperform given its strong objective indicators and suggested that the government and citizens work together to enhance the overall quality of life.

Challenges and Opportunities

De Neve issued a challenge to the Singaporean government and its people to leverage the city-state’s remarkable achievements for the benefit of its residents. By addressing areas of improvement, such as social support and freedom, Singapore could potentially climb higher in the global happiness rankings. CNBC attempted to reach out to the Singapore government for a response but received no immediate reply.

Meanwhile, India found itself ranked at 126th place out of the 143 countries surveyed, reflecting a stark contrast with Singapore’s position at the top of the happiness index. This discrepancy underscores the vast differences in quality of life and well-being experienced by residents in various nations.

The World Happiness Report for 2024 highlights Singapore’s continued success as the happiest country in Asia. While the city-state excels in certain areas like GDP per capita and low corruption perception, there are opportunities for improvement in social support and individual freedom. By addressing these challenges, Singapore could further enhance its residents’ quality of life and potentially climb even higher in the global happiness rankings.


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