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Price of Happiness; The Philippines is 103rd Happiest in world


  WASHINGTON D.C.  How much happiness? If you live in the United States, the Marist Institute for Public Opinion answers that question with a nice, round figure — $50,000.

  Marist looked at various aspects of people's lives, including satisfaction with neighborhood safety as well as health, employment, spiritual life and community involvement.

  Those earning $50,000 were generally more satisfied.

  According to the survey, those earning below $50,000 were not as personally satisfied with their lives as those above that mark in areas such as one’s housing situation, personal relationships and overall direction in life.

  A 2010 Princeton University study suggested strongly that money really can buy happinessbut only up to a very specific point.

  The researchers found that up to about $75,000, annual income closely correlates with emotional well-being. Beyond that threshold, however, more income doesn’t translate into more happiness.

  A 158-page report published by Columbia University’s Earth Institute, the World Happiness Report identified Denmark as the happiest place in the world, followed by Finland, Norway and the Netherlands.

  The rankings in the report were based on a number called the "life evaluation score," a measurement which takes into account a variety of factors including people's health, family and job security as well as social factors like political freedom and government corruption.

  Although Filipinos are generally known to be friendly and hospitable, the report released earlier this month ranked the Philippines (2011 per capita income – $4,100) as the 103rd ‘happiest’ country in the world, falling below Iraq and Nigeria.

  Out of the 156 countries using the "Cantril Ladder," the Philippines was in the bottom half of the first World Happiness Report.<R>It also looks at measurements from previous reports on happiness from the Gallup World Poll, World Values Survey, the European Values Survey (EVS), and European Social Survey (ESS).

  On the other end of the spectrum, Benin, Central African Republic, Togo and the Sierra Leone had an average life evaluation score of 3.4.

  A separate "Happiness Index per Country," report from the United Nations, relying on another type of measurement placed the Philippines at 28th place, close to well-developed countries such as the United States (23rd place) and Canada (24th place).

  The UN Report noted that employment among citizens increases happiness while unemployment causes emotional distress.



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