, Hong Kong

Hong Kong ranks among world's happiest countries

That’s according to a new and controversial index.

A new “Happiness Index” based on migratory flows and not on subjective answers to surveys reveals that Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand are the countries where people are happiest. It was created by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid.

The rankings presented at the 14th edition of the Conference on International Economics held this summer in Palma de Mallorca claims to try to avoid the subjectivity of surveys.

The new Happiness Index is based on what people do instead of what people say. It assumes that a country people want to go to cannot be very unhappy.

According to the new happiness index, migratory flows are closely linked to aspects that psychology relates to happiness. On the basis of these results, the researchers can construct a happiness index that considers more logical values.

In contrast, traditional surveys normally used to determine the welfare of a country are usually influenced by idiosyncratic factors and some data can be manipulated. This has led to countries like Iraq, Haiti and Afghanistan appearing in relatively high positions in other happiness rankings.

The first places in the new ranking are occupied by Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway, Israel, South Korea, Sweden, Canada and Australia.

At the bottom of the list are Bolivia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Cameroon, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Afghanistan, South Africa and China.

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