How happy is South Africa really? The Global Happiness Index weighs
News has recently surfaced that Bangkok has been named one of the worst cities in the world for work-life balance. In the grander scheme of things, this headline can be tied to Thailand’s overall “happiness score” according to the World Happiness Index.
Some might be surprised at the results. After all, Thailand is the dream destination of many tourists, and so the reality of its seemingly average “happiness score” is a harsh reality check against tourist brochures. However, Thaiger was quick to point out that Cape Town was among the cities with the worst work-life balance scores. Ouch.
Bringing things home, like Thailand, South Africa is another country heavily reliant on tourism – with cities like Cape Town betting on bringing in cash for the “worthy” lifestyle. of Instagram” with which we are often associated.
Most of what is advertised about Cape Town is true when experienced from a tourist’s perspective – the scenery is stunning, the flora and fauna diverse and wonderful, and the culture is rich and exciting. Of course, for current residents, and the vast majority who don’t live in the lush suburbs or glittering areas along the Atlantic coast, those attributes are passing moments.
We were also told that the work-life balance in South Africa has changed a lot since the pandemic. Although our score is low at this stage, things seem to be improving.
People migrate to places like the mother city to find that balance, offices connect, and workers want to be human beings, not human workers.
Despite the steps in the right direction, are we really happy as a country?
The World Happiness Report has been published since 2012 and serves as a guide for governments to enrich the lives of their people.
The Happiness Index has compiled a comprehensive data report for 2022, looking at the past three years (from 2019) for various countries and cities based on responses to the Cantril Scale question. Six factors are used to help account for differences in country scores, using samples of people answering the questions.
These factors include GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and corruption.
“We use observed data on the six variables and estimates of their associations with life valuations to explain the observed variation in life valuations across countries, much as epidemiologists estimate how far life expectancy is affected by factors such as smoking, exercise and diet,” says Bonheur du Monde.
South Africa came in as the 91st happiest country on the list of 146 countries, which is quite a far cry from happier countries like Finland and Denmark that came out on top.
It would be premature to assume that we will see massive changes in our rankings without major improvements from the government, but at the very least we are up from last year when we sat in 103rd place on the listing.
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