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Mae Hong Son wins happiness poll

Mar 20. 2013
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Mae Hong Son residents are the happiest in the country and Bangkokians are the least happy due to stress caused by materialism, a high crime rate and bad family relationships, according to an Abac poll.

The poll was released to mark the first International Day of Happiness today.

The Academic Network for Community Happiness Observation and Research, or Anchor, which works out of Assumption University, surveyed 12,429 people in 18 provinces between March 1 and 19. 
They measured people’s “happiness” based on 17 indicators based on scores of 1 to 10 points and found that general happiness had shrunk from last December’s score of 7.61 to 6.58 now.
Happiness rankings among those living upcountry in percentage terms revealed that the happiest province was Mae Hong Son at 60.9 per cent followed by Phang Nga at 60.7 per cent, Chaiyaphum at 60 per cent, Prachin Buri at 57 per cent and Uthai Thani at 56.6 per cent. 
The key factors for happiness in the top five provinces were: the natural environment, rural lifestyle in peaceful city, small society with good relationships in family and community, high safety in terms of life and property, low crime rate, pride in local history, little to moderate urbanisation and materialism and, more importantly, loyalty to the nation, the religion and the monarchy, which boosted feelings of unity. 
Bangkok ranked last at 20.8 per cent after Samut Prakan at 22 per cent and Phuket at 24.2 per cent. These provinces were least happy because of high urbanisation and materialism, high crime rate, relationships in family and community being in crisis, drug and alcohol problems, disunity and bias in society, hot tempers and lack of trust in government and local administration due to a lack of transparency. Pollution and health problems also made the list.

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