The highest happiness ratings inthe nation were from the outlying islands of Kinmen County, Lienchiang County, which includes Matzu, and Penghu, according to a poll published on Wednesday.
The poll, conducted by the Nan Shan Life Insurance Co and the Chinese-language Economic Daily News, defined the term “well-being” as it is used by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Better Life Initiative.
The initiative culminated in the Better Life Index, which was launched in May 2011, using 11 categories to gauge the happiness of a country, thereby allowing countries to compare their well-being levels.
The categories are: housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.
The poll found that the three islands took the first three places among the 22 counties and cities nationwide, while the three least happy places were Keelung, Yunlin County and New Taipei City (新北市).
Kinmen was named the “happiest” place in the nation.
Lienchiang County saw high figures in personal safety, environmental quality, social connection, individual family economy, work environment satisfaction and county government policy, the poll said.
Keelung was named least happy for its city government policies, job environment, life and work balance, environmental quality and living quality.
Yunlin County received low scores from residents on personal security and educational policies.
New Taipei City residents were generally unhappy with their job environment, the poll said.
Nan Shan Life Insurance vice chairman Du Ying-tzyong (杜英宗) said he defined happiness as the ability to help others and make them happy.
The poll was conducted from June 10 to July 26 via telephone sampling, with a total of 22,523 people over 20 years of age across the nation interviewed: 815 in Kinmen County, 300 in Lienchiang County, and between 1,068 and 1,079 in each of other counties and cities.
With a level of accuracy of 95 percent, the poll’s margin of error for the 20 counties, discounting Kinmen and Lienchiang, were within plus or minus 3 percentage points.
The margin of error for Kinmen and Lienchiang were 3.4 and 5.7 percentage points respectively.