A Thai survey “based on responses from 4,363 people in 22 provinces” gives an overview of happiness in Thailand. The index compiled by the ABAC Poll Research Centre fell from 5.74 in November 2006 to 5.11 in May 2007. The ABAC survey uses a composite ten-point scale where 10 indicates extreme happiness and one is reserved for extreme unhappiness.

The details provide some interesting food for thought:

Respondents said admiration of His Majesty the King and the royal family gave them the most happiness, at 7.19, while good physical health ranked second at seven points.

National unity came in at 6.26, followed by good mental health at 6.25, the sufficiency economy at 5.99, family love at 5.72 and a good job at 5.59.

Violence in the South caused the most unhappiness, 2.72, followed by poor infrastructure, 3.51, and the failings of politicians and officials, which was rated 3.68.

Other factors causing unhappiness were globalisation (3.77), social and legal injustice (4.49), poor management of the environment (4.74), and substandard education (4.78).

The Nation headlined its report “Land of the Vanishing Smile“. It is worth a read in full.