Saudi Arabia ranks third in Ipsos global happiness survey of 27 countries

A Saudi organizer at the Future Investment Initiative conference, FII, smiles as she welcomes participants, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Oct. 29, 2019. (AP)

Saudi Arabia has ranked the third happiest country, after China and the Netherlands, in a leading 2020 global happiness survey.

The poll, conducted by France-based market research company Ipsos, measured the level of happiness in 27 countries around the world.

Read more: Safest coronavirus countries: Saudi Arabia, UAE rank in top 20 of COVID-19 analysis

About nine in 10 people in China and the Netherlands described themselves as “very” or “rather” happy, while about eight in 10 people in Saudi Arabia said the same.

After Saudi Arabia in third, France, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium made up the rest of the top 10 countries.

The US ranked 11th, with seven out of 10 people describing themselves as “very” or “rather” happy.

The countries with the lowest happiness levels in the index were Spain, Chile, and Peru.

The Kingdom was the country with the highest proportion of adults who consider themselves “very happy,” at 30 percent, followed by India at 22 percent and the Netherlands at 20 percent.

Children wave flags as people celebrate Saudi Arabia's 90th annual National Day, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 23, 2020. (Reuters)

Children wave flags as people celebrate Saudi Arabia's 90th annual National Day, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia September 23, 2020. (Reuters)

The only other country in the Middle East polled was Turkey, which ranked 17 in overall happiness level.

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Ipsos conducted the survey from July 24 to August 7, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and polled over 1,000 adults in each country via an online survey platform.

It found that six in 10 adults across 27 countries describe themselves as happy.

In comparing this year’s results to 2019, Ipsos concluded that the prevalence of happiness globally “has remained nearly unchanged” despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, the levels of happiness increased in some countries including China, Russia, Italy, and Malaysia.

People enjoy the view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy, May 1, 2020. (Reuters)

People enjoy the view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence, Italy, May 1, 2020. (Reuters)

The greatest declines in happiness were recorded in the South American countries of Peru, which decreased 26 percent since 2019, and Chile, which dropped 15 percent.

A majority of poll participants across all 27 countries said their source of “greatest happiness” is their health and physical well-being.

Tied for second was the relationship with their spouse or partner, and the participant’s relationship with their children.

Those polled in Saudi Arabia ranked religion as their greatest source of happiness, followed by health and physical well-being, personal safety and security, and their relationship with their children.

Samira al-Ghamdi, a practicing psychologist, smiles while making a stop to refuel her car as she drives to work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia June 24, 2018. (Reuters)

Samira al-Ghamdi, a practicing psychologist, smiles while making a stop to refuel her car as she drives to work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia June 24, 2018. (Reuters)

Time spent on social media was the least popular “greatest source of happiness” for both Saudis and the overall group of participants.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 13 October 2020 KSA 20:22 - GMT 17:22
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