Malaysians are a happy bunch despite the pandemic and economic crisis, according to findings by the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
According to The Star, Chief Statistician Datuk Seri Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the first-ever Malaysia Happiness Index (MHI) 2021 found that most Malaysians are generally happy with their lives.
“The study shows the concept of inclusiveness because the results are similar across the board in terms of ethnicity, gender, and strata,” he said.
Mohd Uzir said the study analyses the happiness level in the country and it has 73 indicators covered under the 13 components of MHI, namely family, housing and environment, social participation, health, communication facilities, education, working life, income, public safety, time use, religion and spiritual, culture and emotional experience.
Categorisation was based on a score of one to 10 from very unhappy to very happy to indicate how satisfied respondents are, whereby a score above 6.01 means they are happy.
The survey was conducted from September to November 2021 and collected 42,446 responses from across the country. The overall happiness score is 6.48, which is in the ‘Happy’ level.
“Overall, Malaysians are at a happy level despite the country facing the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic and an economic crisis in 2021, the year when the MHI Survey 2021 was conducted. This scenario may be different in future studies,” Mohd Uzir said.
Results of the survey
The MHI barometer categorises happiness into 5 different groups, with a score of 0 to 2 as Very Unhappy, 2.01 to 4 as Unhappy, 4.01 to 6 as Moderately Happy, 6.01 to 8 at Happy, and 8.01 to 10 at Very Happy.
According to the infographic, W.P. Labuan MHI’s score is close to ‘perfect’ at 9.29, while Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya scored 7.77 and 7.28 respectively, showing that Malaysians who reside in federal territories are the happiest in the country.
On the other hand, Melaka and Selangor recorded the lowest MHI score, at 5.85 and 5.74 respectively, showing that the citizens in these states were only Moderately Happy.
Meanwhile, the study also found that married people are the happiest, with a 6.48 score. If measured by gender, women were happier with a 0.03 higher index than men, which is 6.49.
Mohd Uzir also shared that the 3 components with the highest score value are, the family component (7.23), the religion and spiritual component (7.21), and the health component (6.75).
While measuring by educational attainment, Malaysians with tertiary education recorded the highest on the index at 6.58, while primary education at 6.53, secondary education at 6.41 and no formal education at 6.31.
Rural folks in Malaysia are also found to be happier than city dwellers, although both are at a Happy level, scoring 6.54 and 6.46 respectively.
When measured by ethnic groups, all ethnics were at a Happy level with a score between 6.28 and 6.50, with the Bumiputra scoring the highest and “others” the lowest.
Meanwhile, it was also found that Malaysians who aged between 55 and 59 were the happiest, with a score of 6.51.