WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Thirty-one percent of Taiwanese rate their lives well enough to be considered "thriving." Taiwanese residents' well-being initially recovered in 2010 after taking a hit at the start of the global financial crisis in 2008, when 22% were thriving -- down from 28% in 2006. The dip in well-being coincided with Taiwan's biggest economic contraction in seven years during the third quarter of 2008. But, Taiwan's economic growth -- and well-being -- has since recovered. Despite this increase in thriving, the majority of Taiwanese are still struggling.
Gallup classifies respondents' well-being as "thriving," "struggling," or "suffering" according to how they rate their current and future lives on a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0 to 10 based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. People are considered thriving if they rate their current lives a 7 or higher and expectations for their lives in five years an 8 or higher. People who rate their current or future lives a 4 or lower are classified as suffering. All others are considered struggling.
Despite the post-financial crisis recovery in well-being, far fewer Taiwanese are thriving compared with residents in developed Asian countries such as Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea. The percentage of thriving residents in Taiwan is on par with those in Singapore in 2011 and higher than levels in Hong Kong and Japan.
Satisfaction With Standard of Living, Ratings of Local Economy Also Improve in Taiwan
Seventy-nine percent of Taiwanese say they are satisfied with their standard of living, up from a low of 66% measured in late 2008 and reminiscent of levels measured in 2006.
Taiwanese are also more likely to say their standard of living is getting better (50%) than getting worse (22%). This is a significant improvement from 2008, when 26% of Taiwanese said their standard of living was getting better and 46% said it was getting worse.
More than two-thirds of Taiwanese believe that the current economic conditions in the city or area where they live are good, up from more than one-half in 2008. Another 52% of Taiwanese say the economic conditions in their city or area are getting better, almost twice the percentage who said so in 2008.
Satisfaction with current living standards in Taiwan compares closely with Hong Kong (81%) and Singapore (80%), and outpaces satisfaction in South Korea (72%). Taiwanese are less likely than those in Singapore (79%), but about as likely as those in Hong Kong (71%) to say the economic conditions in the city where they live are good. Taiwanese are much more likely than those living in South Korea (44%) to say local economic conditions are good.
Taiwan's GDP grew nearly 11% in 2010 and 5% in 2011, returning to levels similar to those the nation experienced before the global economic crisis. Residents' well-being stabilized in 2011 after improving to 32% in 2010. Taiwanese residents' satisfaction with their standard of living and views of local economic conditions have also improved at the same time. However, with about one-third of Taiwanese thriving, there is room for growth, especially when compared with the well-being levels of other developed economies in the region.
For complete data sets or custom research from the more than 150 countries Gallup continually surveys, please contact SocialandEconomicAnalysis@gallup.com or call 202.715.3030.
Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with 1,000 adults, aged 15 and older, conducted in 2011 in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranged from 3.5 percentage points to ±3.9 percentage points. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.