Mongolia was ranked the 50th unhappiest nation among 150 countries surveyed for the World Happiness Report 2017.
The ranking of the world’s happiest countries is based on seven variables: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption. Each country is also compared against a hypothetical nation called “Dystopia”, which represents the lowest national averages for each key variable and is used as a regression benchmark.
Mongolia jumped up one spot in the world happiness report from 101st to 100th this year. The overall happiness score improved by 0.048 points.
In contrast, Mongolian Marketing Consulting Group (MMCG) says their own study found that 70 percent of Mongolians are happy.
MMCG, which specializes in research activities, asked 1,200 randomly selected people from across Mongolia how happy they are, and 70 percent said that they were satisfied with their standard of living.
“Mongolians are conscious of the power of language, so most people try to think and talk about good things to make sure it affects their life positively. This kind of mindset might lead to the majority of respondents saying that they are happy,” MMCG said.
Happiness is an abstract concept, so the measures for happiness can be all kinds of things. While some people measure their happiness in terms of wealth, others determine how happy they are by their health.
“Anyone with a home, means of transportation, and the financial capacity to meet their basic needs has nothing to worry about and lives happily. On the other hand, those who want to live better than others and drive a car they can’t afford, those who have a home but quarrel with its residents every day, or those worry about their debt rarely feel happy,” said B.Uugantsetseg, a Mongolian psychologist.
According to B.Uuugantsetseg, many people think that they are happy based on their job, income, and involvement in social activities, but happiness can be felt if people adjust their perceptions of happiness. She believes that everything, including emotions, needs to be included to determine what happiness is.
“The happiness of a nation depends on what you consider happiness. The happiness level will be high in peaceful places with good surroundings and a low unemployment rate. Besides people’s perceptions of happiness, their emotions are a requirement for evaluating happiness,” she said.
National Psychology Center psychologist D.Lkhamsuren advised the public to focus on maintaining happiness rather than worrying about what it is. He explained, “How long you can stay happy is what’s important. As long as you build sustainable happiness, your social interactions will be healthy. This way, people can share their happiness with each other.”
“The perception of happiness is also important. Some people consider themselves happy when they hold their newborn baby, successfully graduate, achieve their goals, help others, eat something delicious, or become financially independent. In other cases, people feel happy after a good rest, a delicious meal, or after confiding with a friend. But happiness is actually a process, not a result,” he stated.