Memos from Asia

Happiest Countries in Central Asia, Ranked in 2020

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Happiest Countries in Central Asia, Ranked in 2020

The happiness of people depends on various factors according to culture, perceptions, and lifestyle. For some people, happiness is having a lot of money, lucrative job, or authority, while others relate happiness with family, health, and children.

Are people happy in your society? Compare your answer with the report. (WHR, https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2020/)

A Global Happiness Ranking

World happiness report is an annual survey made by the United Nations to analyze happiness of residents in 153 countries, using six main variables to explain happiness score: GDP per Capita, Social Support, Healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, Generosity and Perceptions of corruption.

The score range is between 0 and 10, where 0 means the saddest and 10 is the happiest country.

In this article, you will be familiar with the countries where the happiest and least happy people live.

Uzbekistan – 6.26 points

MARGILAN, FERGANA VALLEY, UZBEKISTAN – 02 JUNE 2019: Uzbek woman selling clothes in the Margilan market in the Fergana valley

Uzbekistan is the leader in the list of Central Asian countries with the happiest population. The country made an upward leap – from 60th position in 2013 to 38th place in 2020 worldwide, even though over 36,000 is infected by Covid-19. (data in 18.08).

Uzbekistan ranks higher in the world happiness report than Russia (73th), Turkey (93th), and China (94th).

The high ranks of the country can be explained by great generosity, high freedom of decision making, and people’s optimistic views for future improvements in the world. (Uzdaily, https://www.uzdaily.uz/en/post/55527)

Kazakhstan – 6.06 points

Kazakh Adult Women Smiling

Kazakhstan is the 2nd happiest country in Central Asia. The biggest country in the region scored 6.06 points and held 50th rank in the globe.

The country experienced a significant positive rise in 2020, Kazakh people as a majority of the Kazakhstan population were 60th happiest nation.

GDP per capita of the country was $9,731 in 2019, 464% higher than Uzbekistan, while the life expectancy of Kazakhs was more than Uzbeks by 1.9 years. (United Nations, https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/pdf/mortality/WMR2019/WorldMortality2019DataBooklet.pdf)

However, Kazakhstan’s index in freedom of press and decision making is lower than Uzbekistan. (RSF, https://rsf.org/en/ranking).

Although Homicide rates in Kazakhstan have been decreasing for the last five years from 8.53 deaths/100,000 to 4.81 deaths/100,000, the rate is higher than Uzbekistan by about 37%. (Knoema, https://knoema.com/SPI2019/social-progress-index-2019?country=1001070-kazakhstan)

Tajikistan – 5.56 points

Tajikistan. 08/05/2019. The Central Market in the city of Isfara. Woman seller sells freshly baked bread cakes

The following place belongs to the smallest country – Tajikistan. This land of mountains occupied 71st place in the world and 3rd in Central Asia.

The nation of over 9.5 million is home to the beautiful landscaped and delicious fruits. However, these are not the only things that make Tajiks happy.

The country is less corrupted than Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan as well as the Tajik population is more generous than Kyrgyz people. Besides, homicide rates are the lowest in Central Asia, with 1.61 deaths/100,000, regardless of the lowest GDP per capita rate of $871 among Central Asian economies. (Macrotrends, https://www.macrotrends.net/countries/TJK/tajikistan/gdp-per-capita)

Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan – 5.54 and 5.12 respectively

Kyrchyn, Kyrgyzstan, 6th September 2018: tender moment in between Kyrgyz mother and her son in their home yurt, dressed in traditional clothing

Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan are the least happy countries in the Central Asian region.

Kyrgyzstan or the Kyrgyz Republic holds on the 74th position with 5.54 points out of 153 countries worldwide, while Turkmenistan was placed in 95th place.

Kyrgyzstan is a beautiful country, which is popular with national festivals, games, cuisine, and mountain landscapes. It is often referred to as the Switzerland of Central Asia because of spectacular mountains.

However, these factors could not ensure and provide happiness to the population. Kyrgyzstan’s GDP per capita is among the lowest in Central Asia before Tajikistan.

Also, homicide rates are very high compared to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, while the unemployment is more severe than Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. (Macrotrends, Kyrgyz Republic Unemployment Rate 1991-2020)

With regard to Turkmenistan, the country scored very low in healthy life expectancy (68.2 years), and it is the most corrupted country in Central Asia. (Transparency, https://www.transparency.org/files/content/pages/2019_CPI_Report_EN.pdf)

Although sufficient social support and high generosity, most Turkmen population is not much optimistic about future improvements, as shown in the report.

Conclusion

According to the UN Happiness Report, Uzbekistan is the happiest country in Central Asia, while Turkmenistan is the saddest state. The rank of Uzbekistan can be explained by higher freedom in making choices and generosity level, while Turkmenistan has low results because of high unemployment and corruption.

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