PH is 3rd happiest country in the world — international pollster

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 2) — Filipinos can smile at this survey result: the Philippines is the third happiest country in the world.

In the 41st global annual survey conducted by Gallup International, the Philippines ranked third in the top ten happiest countries in 2017, with a net happiness score of +84. This is five notches higher than the 2016 score, which also put the country in third place.

At the top is Fiji (+92), followed by Colombia (+87).

The survey was done among 55 countries in October to December 2017.

The Philippines also landed fifth in the economic optimism index with a net score of 32. According to the survey, more Filipinos believe 2018 will be a year of economic prosperity.

The country landed ninth in the hope index with a score of 40. It is among the top 10 countries which believe 2018 will be better than 2017.

On a global scale, on the other hand, the happiness, economic optimism, and hope indices went down. The world has a net happiness score of 49, a 10-point decline from its score in 2017.

"2017 was a tough year with terrorist attacks over almost each week and it may have influenced personal lives all around the world. Nevertheless, a majority in all polled countries are happy," Gallup International said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said they welcome Gallup's survey results.

"We Filipinos are known as a happy, resilient people. We even manage to smile amid difficulties. It is therefore not surprising that we rank high in the global happiness index," Roque said in a statement.

Roque said survey results can be attributed to the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"Our economy is one of the fastest growing in the region. The local stock market ended the last trading day of 2017 in an all time-high. Board of Investments-approved investments are record-breaking. The government decisively liberated Marawi (City)," he added.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, chairman of the Board of Investments, announced ₱616.7 billion in investment approvals in 2017, which is 39.5 percent from the ₱442 billion recorded in 2016 and also the highest in the agency's 50-year history.

Gallup polled 53,769 persons around the world for the survey. A sample of 1,000 respondents from the Philippines were surveyed through paper-and-pencil interviews between November 16 and 29, 2017.

Gallup said the margin of error is +3-5 percent at 95 confidence level.