September 5, 2019, A study shows that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the value of all the final products in a country, and it is used for comparing the economic performance of the country. However, it might not reflect people’s happiness well. UCSI Poll Research Centre is looking for a better measure of people’s value-as-a-total on their wellbeing, life satisfaction, quality of life, and life actualization via subjective and objective data. Asst.Prof.Dr.Noppadon Kannika, CEO of UCSI Poll Research Centre, calls the new measure as Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH). His GDH paper was awarded by the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR). The centre CEO releases poll results on Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) in Kuala Lumpur. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were conducted between August 1 to September 4, 2019. This poll was conducted among 1,051 people across KL. The margin of sampling error for this sample size is +/- 3% due to the poll’s sampling method.
The objectives of this poll include
1) to investigate KL Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH),
2) to find out significant factors affecting people’s happiness in KL, and
3) to give recommendations to the public as a new measure of the happiness of the country’s people.
In this poll, 49.2 of total respondents were males, and 50.8 were females. This poll found that 26.5% of respondents were generation x, 41.8% were generation y, 25.5% were generation z, and 6.2% were baby boomer and the silent generations. When asked about the respondents’ occupation, the results show that 35.8% were private-company workers, 23.0% were students, 14.2% were government officers, 12.4% were freelancers, 7.3% were business owners, and 7.3% were others such as farmers, retired people, unemployed people. The respondents’ monthly income is found that 32.1% earned under 2,000 RM, 38.1% earned 2,000 – 4,999 RM, 24.3% earned 5,000 – 7,999 RM, and 5.5% earned 8,000 RM and over.
Over half of respondents or 41.4% graduated under bachelor, 54.6% graduated their bachelor, and 4.0% graduated higher than bachelor.
The results show that the average of KL people’s Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) was 6.92 out of 10 points meaning that people were somewhat happy. When asked respondents about factors affecting the GDH such as their family life, workplace, financial situation, sense of community, physical health, mental health, the country’s natural resources, and politics, the results show the factor at the highest happiness level that was their family life with the average at 7.15 out of 10 points. This poll also found the average of happiness levels among the rest of factors such as physical health (6.50), mental health (6.46), workplace (6.15), community (6.05), financial situation and pocket money (5.96), natural resources (5.88), the nation as a whole (5.81), and the last one that was near the middle line of people’s happiness was politics (5.15), respectively.
After testing these factors affecting the GDH by higher statistics (i.e., Multiple Regression Analysis), the results show that 61.4% of variability in the GDH can be explained by referring to family life, workplace, financial situation, community, physical health, mental health, natural resources, the nation, and politics: R = .786; Adjusted R Square = .614. It is clear that “Family Life” plays the most significant role in affecting the GDH (beta = .563, p-value = 0.000), the second most significant role is “Mental Health” (beta = .156, p-value = 0.000), the third most significant role is “Workplace” (beta = .152, p-value = 0.000), the forth most significant role is “Financial Situation” (beta = .131, p-value = 0.000).
Asst. Prof.Dr.Noppadon, CEO, UCSI Poll Research Centre says that the results of this GDH survey allow for a subjective analysis of how people as a whole view their happiness and the factors that contribute to it. Obviously the happiness of the individual is, to some degree, dependent on his or her efforts and personal views in life. This survey shows that money is important, but it is not the first most important factor, it is people’s family life, mental health, and workplace in order as shown in the GDH survey. While the action of government could directly affect the action of the public, thusly affecting the GDH level directly and indirectly, more research is needed before suggesting a policy memo to increase the GDH.
About UCSI Poll Research Centre The UCSI Poll Research Centre (UCSI-PRC) is a public opinion research company owned by the UCSI Group. Its main objective is to utilise original and scientific research methodologies to investigate and analyse public opinions and attitudes.