A poll published by a lifestyle magazine yesterday showed that 86.6 percent of Taiwanese children feel happy.
The number of children who said they were happy was the highest in the 12 years that Syllabus Magazine has conducted the survey.
Times have changed since the survey was first conducted, First Children’s Development Center chairman Chai Sung-lin (柴松林) said.
The country’s birthrate has plunged by a third and couples are getting married much later in life, meaning they are more capable of providing for their children, Chai said.
In the survey of third to sixth-graders conducted in November and December last year, children in northern Taiwan reported the highest levels of happiness, with 89.1 percent saying they felt happy.
In southern Taiwan, 85.2 percent of respondents were also content, but only 78 percent of the respondents in the east — Yilan, Hualien and Taitung counties — said they felt happy.
When the children polled feel unhappy, boys said they would spend time watching television or playing video games, while girls said they would speak to their parents.
As for how children react to difficulties, 33.9 percent of those polled said they would seek help from their parents.
The survey also showed how those polled ranked their family members in their roles of making them feel happy.
Mothers were placed first by children at 36.9 percent, followed by fathers with 23.4 percent and grandparents in third place.
The children surveyed also said they felt happiest during family outings, whether traveling abroad with their parents, taking trips within Taiwan or engaging in outdoor activities, such as fishing or hiking.
The magazine distributed a total of 2,300 surveys and retrieved 2,250 valid samples. The survey had a confidence level of 98 percent, with a margin of error of 1 percent.