Hsinchu is the happiest place in the nation, followed by Penghu and Hsinchu counties, a survey showed yesterday.
The happiness index score among residents of Hsinchu City was 70.5, the only place in which the index surpassed a score of 70, according to the survey that was conducted by the Chinese-language Economic Daily News and NanShan Life Insurance Co.
The outlying county of Penghu ranked second, with a happiness index score of 69.4, and Hsinchu County came in third with a score of 66.8.
Rounding out the top 10 were Hualien County, Miaoli County, Taoyuan County, Taitung County, Taipei, Chiayi City and Changhua County, with happiness indices ranging from 62.5 to 50.
Taipei was the only special municipality that made it into the top 10. Greater Taichung was No. 11, Greater Tainan No. 12, New Taipei City (新北市) No. 14 and Greater Kaohsiung No. 17.
The outlying counties of Kinmen and Lienchiang were not ranked due to a lack of objective indicators, the pollsters said.
Nationwide, the happiness index averaged 65.1.
Twenty-two indicators were used to measure the level of happiness among residents, including objective ones such as family income, environmental quality and Internet coverage. Some subjective indicators such as family and interpersonal relationships and health status were also included.
Other indicators included public order, religious affiliations, perception of democracy, level of satisfaction with the local government’s performance and level of optimism about the future.
The survey, carried out from July 10 to Aug. 18, polled 22,415 residents in Taiwan’s 22 counties and cities.