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Indonesians ‘happiest’ when married with two children, survey shows

Publication Date : 03-06-2014


School teacher Andreas Vetriyanto, 26, lives in Yogyakarta’s rural area and earns less than 900,000 rupiah (US$76.50) a month.

“I am quite happy with my condition, although some parts of my life need to be improved, one of which is my income,” said Andreas, who supports a wife and two children.

“My short-term goal is to be paid the minimum wage, which is 1.2 million rupiah.”

Andreas also said he felt happier after getting married because his life was more organised.

The same sentiment — that, on the whole, people were happy — was seen across the archipelago and recorded in a 2013 Central Statistics Agency (BPS) survey on the Happiness Index, which was published Monday.

The survey — which was meant to understand welfare without the common indicators such as inflation, economic growth, criminality and unemployment — found that Indonesians were happiest when they had a higher income, were married and had two children.

“I can’t imagine, however, what my life would be like if I had more than two children. There will be a lot of hardships,” Andreas said.

The BPS also founds that people who were younger, were well educated and lived in urban area, are happier, like Floriana Nataly, 25.

Floriana, a married employee with a monthly income of more than 7 million rupiah, said she was happy with her life. “However, I still have several goals to be achieved, including a doctoral degree,” she said.

BPS chairman Suryamin said that Indonesia scored 65.11 on a scale of 100 in the survey, which meant that Indonesians, in general, were quite happy.

The Happiness Index — a subjective indicator — considered 10 life essentials including work, household income, house condition and assets, education, health, family harmony, social relationships, leisure time, environmental conditions and security.

Bank Mandiri chief economist Destry Damayanti said the report was important because it could give illustrate economic achievement. It can also give a glimpse into workers’ productivity, she added.

“I hope that BPS can issue [the report] every quarter, because it can give us an overview on how the economy can grow,” she said, adding that people who were happy and comfortable with their work could help accelerate economic growth.

Destry, however, suggested that the BPS make a more comprehensive report next time.

The Happiness Index shows scores for each category of respondents, overall for happiness married people scored 65.31; singles 64.99; divorcees 60.55, and widowers 63.49 in the category.

Happiness divided by income brackets scored as follows: more than 7.2 million rupiah (74.64), 4.8 million - 7.2 million rupiah (72.37), 3 million - 4.8 million rupiah (70.34), 1.8 million - 3 million rupiah (67.07) and below 1.8 million rupiah (61.80).

Meanwhile, based on area, those who lived in urban areas scored 65.92 while people in rural areas scored 64.32.

Suryamin summarised the survey, saying that people who were well educated, lived in the city, earning more than 7.2 million rupiah a month and were married were the  happiest in Indonesia.


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