Tuesday, December 7, 2010


The Straits Times headline says it all. Whether one agrees with it or not is another matter. In a research study funded by National Geographic for the happiest city in each of four continents, best-selling author of "Blue Zones" Dan Buettner has identified Singapore as the happiest city in Asia. The criteria for his selections are based on data from Gallup, the World Values Survey and the World Database on Happiness.

Singapore scores high on these prerequisites for happiness: adequate food, shelter, health care, mobility, tolerance, status equality, security, trust, recreation, financial security and stability, low unemployment, high home ownership, green spaces, and clean environment. (Pic: A bird's eye view of Singapore during the F1 night race.)

As someone who spends a fair amount of time in the island nation - 7-10 days a month, I can vouch for Singapore's high scores on all these points. Sure, the country doesn't get high marks for its paternalistic and restrictive political environment. But citizens know they can trust their Government and police. These are trade-offs that most Singaporeans can live with.

For more on the happiest places on earth, click here or read Buettner's latest book "Thrive".
Singapore is right at the top for ease of doing business. (Source: World Bank)

Of the top 50 safest banks in the world, DBS is ranked 23, OCBC 31 and UOB 32. (Source: Global Finance)

National University of Singapore (NUS) occupies 31st spot in QS World University Rankings 2010, and 3rd among Asian universities.

How does MM Lee Kuan Yew rate his happiness on a scale of 1 to 10? Click on the image to read Buettner's 2008 interview with the man he calls Singapore's "happiness architect".

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