The Philippines is the 69th happiest country in the world, a United Nations report released on Wednesday―the International Day of Happiness―said.
With an average score of 5.631 in 2019, the Philippines moved up two places from last year or 71st out of the 156 countries ranked.
The country ranked higher than Southeast Asian neighbors Malaysia (80th), Indonesia (92nd), Vietnam (94th), Laos (105th), Cambodia (109th) and Myanmar (131st).
It also dovetails with a Social Weather Stations survey released Sunday that said 87 percent of Filipino considered themselves “very or fairly happy.”
The polling firm noted that the ranking is the country’s lowest in four years since recording 85 percent in December 2014.
The SWS survey also found 82 percent “very or fairly satisfied” with the lives they lead.
The World Happiness Report 2019 used survey data asking citizens across the world how happy they perceive themselves to be, as well as measures such as life expectancy, income and social support.
Finland ranked as the world’s happiest country for the second year running, while war-torn South Sudan sank to the least contented in the UN survey.
The Nordic nation of 5.5 million people, known for their love of forests, lakes and saunas, topped the study.
The other Nordic countries, as well as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand and Austria, also made the top 10.
As well as performing well on all the indicators, the most content countries all tended to have very stable societies, with happiness levels changing comparatively little since 2005.
Despite the political turmoil brought by Brexit, Britain rose four places in the rankings to 15th.
The United States, meanwhile, continued its slide of recent years, dropping one spot to 19th place.
“This year’s report provides sobering evidence of how addictions are causing considerable unhappiness and depression in the US,” said professor Jeffrey Sachs, one of the report’s authors.
The unhappiest nation was South Sudan, where the UN recently said 60 percent of people face food insecurity following a bloody civil war which has claimed the lives of an estimated 400,000 people.
Other conflict-ridden countries, such as Yemen, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic, also featured at the bottom of the table.
Released on the International Day of Happiness on March 20, the report warned that world happiness has declined in recent years, driven by a sustained fall in India, which this year ranked in 140th place.
This has coincided with a rise in negative feelings, “comprising worry, sadness and anger, especially marked in Asia and Africa, and more recently elsewhere,” it said.
This year’s publication also looked at how countries have performed in the happiness rankings since 2005.
Of the 20 largest gainers, half are in Central and Eastern Europe, five are in sub-Saharan Africa, and three in Latin America.
The five largest declines since 2005 were in Yemen, India, Syria, Botswana, and Venezuela.