What makes Chinese people happy?

Updated 2017-04-07 13:30:39 CGTN

The people of China are getting happier, a new report by the United Nations (UN) covering 155 countries showed.

The people of China are getting happier, a new report by the United Nations (UN) covering 155 countries showed.

According to the UN's World Happiness Report 2017, China ranked 79th in the world, an improvement from last year's rank of 83rd.

Feeling healthy leads to greater happiness

A survey by CCTV showed “health” was the most important metric for most people in China when measuring their own happiness.

The survey was conducted in March 2017 and covered 100,000 people.

Other factors that impacted happiness include family relationships, income, marriage, and hobbies.

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The top five factors affecting people's health were work stress (53.96 percent of respondents cited this), air quality (43.79 percent), their mental state (41.82 percent), food safety (37.26 percent), and their eating habits (35.54 percent). Respondents were allowed to cite more than one factor.

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Money buys happiness - to a point, and then it brings unhappiness

The Chinese economic life survey, meanwhile, found a correlation between income and happiness. The more money people made, the happier they were, but only to a point. Once a person's annual income reached 200,000 yuan (29,071 US dollars), they were no longer as happy.

The chart below shows the lowest and highest income groups had the greatest percentage of people saying they were unhappy.

About 31 percent of people who made 10,000 yuan (1,453 US dollars) or less reported being unhappy, while 28 percent of people earning one million yuan or more (145,353 US dollars) reported being unhappy.

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Small cities generally had happier people

The survey found that the happiest people lived in third-tier cities. First-tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou have the largest populations, commerce, and government structures, while second and third-tier cities are smaller.

Nearly 49 percent of people in third-tier cities said they were happy compared to 42 percent of people in first-tier cities.

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Love makes people happy

City-dwellers also valued being married or in-love.

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The happiest Chinese cities in 2016

Lhasa, capital of southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, led China's 2016 Happiest cities list.‍

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Big data analysis reveals that 76.12 percent of Lhasa residents felt 'extremely happy' in 2016. Their primary concerns were family (62.12 percent), marriage or relationship (52.31 percent), and health (46.92 percent). Only 36.15 percent of the participants cared much about how much money they made, or their professional achievements.

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