Kinmen has been ranked the happiest place to live in Taiwan, followed by Hsinchu County and Lienchiang County, according to the results of a survey released yesterday.
The happiness index among residents in Kinmen was 77.3, while that of the two runners-up was about 73, revealed the survey, which was conducted by the Taiwan Competitiveness Forum.
Rounding out the top 10 were Miaoli County, Penghu County, Taitung County, Hualien County, Hsinchu City, Greater Kaohsiung and Yilan County, with their happiness indices ranging from 69 to 72.
The survey was carried out between April 5 and May 2 among 16,864 residents of the nation’s 22 counties and special municipalities. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 0.8 percentage points.
Eleven indicators were used to measure the happiness of respondents, including their family relationships, family income, job situation, interpersonal relationships and health.
Among the other indicators were environmental quality, public order, religious affiliations, perception of democracy, level of satisfaction with the performance of the local government and optimism about the future.
Nationwide, the happiness index averaged 67.4, with the highest scores seen in family and interpersonal relationships at 83.5 and 75.3 respectively. The lowest score was in family income at 46.9.
On the approval ratings of local government heads, Hualien County Commissioner Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) topped the list with a 76.7 percent rating, while Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) trailed closely behind at 76.6 percent.
Rounding out the top five were Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻), Greater Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Changhua County Commissioner Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源).
Meanwhile, the three government heads with the lowest approval ratings were Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮), Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫).