A LARGE proportion of Filipinos — 93% — declared themselves generally “happy” in the first quarter, according to the Social Weather Stations (SWS) polling organization.

The “happy” category breaks down into 44% saying they were “very happy” and 49% “fairly happy, SWS said.

“The 44% ‘very happy’ is a five-point increase from the 39% in December 2018. Prior to this, it had been declining for two consecutive quarters since the record-high 57% in December 2017. On the other hand, the 49% ‘fairly happy’ is similar to the 50% in June 2018 and 48% in December 2018, following the 37% (posted) in December 2017,” SWS said.

The non-commissioned survey was conducted between March 28 and 31 via face-to-face interviews with 1,440 adults nationwide.

Only 8% of Filipinos interviewed said they were ‘unhappy’ (7% not very happy and 1% not at all happy). This is a five-point decline from the 13% (11% not very happy and 2% not at all happy) recorded in the previous quarter.

In terms of satisfaction, the proportion of Filipinos who declared themselves “very/fairly satisfied” also rose to 90% (37% very satisfied and 53% fairly satisfied) from 82% in December 2018. During that period, 34% were very satisfied and 48% fairly satisfied.

The SWS also noted that when properly rounded up, 11% were “unsatisfied” (8% not very satisfied and 2% not at all satisfied), representing a 7-point decline from the 18% (14% not very satisfied and 3% not at all satisfied, rounded up) in the last quarter of 2018.

The number of “very happy” Filipinos rose in all areas except in Balance Luzon.

“The proportion of “very happy” was highest in Mindanao at 58% (up from 51% in December 2018), followed by the Visayas at 57% (up from 45%), Metro Manila at 43% (up from 29%), and Balance Luzon at 32% (down from 33%). On the other hand, the proportion of ‘fairly happy’ was highest in Balance Luzon at 59% (up from 53%), followed by Metro Manila at 48% (down from 53%), Mindanao at 38% (down from 39%), and the Visayas at 37% (down from 44%),” the SWS noted.

Unhappiness was also highest among Filipinos in Metro Manila at “9% (down from 17%), and Balance Luzon at 9%, correctly rounded (down from 14%), followed by the Visayas at 6% (down from 11%), and Mindanao at 4% (down from 11%, correctly rounded).”

The proportion of Filipinos who were “very satisfied” with life was highest in Mindanao at 49% (up from 47%), followed by the Visayas at 42% (up from 41%), Metro Manila at 38% (up from 28% in December 2018), and Balance Luzon at 28% (up from 27%).”

“On the other hand, ‘fairly satisfied with life was highest in Balance Luzon at 62% (up from 56%), followed by Metro Manila at 53% (up from 52%), the Visayas at 43% (unchanged from December 2018), and Mindanao at 41% (up from 33%).”

The SWS said dissatisfaction was highest in the Visayas at 15% (down from 17% previously, rounded), followed by Mindanao at 10% (down from 20%, rounded), Metro Manila at 9% (down from 19%), and Balance Luzon at 9% (down from 17%).” — Arjay L. Balinbin