The Mastercard Well-Being Index surveyed 9,123 people across Asia Pacific about their economic, social and financial outlook, covering four key components: work and finances, safety from threats, personal and work satisfaction as well as personal wellbeing.
Leading the region with an overall wellbeing index score of 75 is India, the only market to have reached a very optimistic level in this survey series’ history. India’s optimism is likely driven by consumers’ upbeat sentiment over the robust pace of economic growth and stable macroeconomic fundamentals, as well as their ability to deal with stress and challenges. Other optimistic markets include Philippines (73) at second place and Indonesia (71.4) in third.
Conversely, Asia’s developed economies have struggled to advance out of neutral territory, owing to deep entrenchment in a culture of overtime and high levels of work-related stress. Japan (50.4) and Korea (52.1) rank the lowest for overall wellbeing, which is reflected in consumers’ consistently downbeat sentiment towards their personal wellbeing related to family stress, work stress, financial stress and health.
According to the study, it seems that a stress-free life with strong work-life balance is key to happiness. Overall, out of the four components, consumers in the region felt most satisfied with their personal and work life (65.5), buoyed by strong fulfilment amongst consumers in emerging markets such as India (83), Philippines (78.2), Myanmar (75.4), Vietnam (72.7), mainland China (71.3), Indonesia (71.1) and Thailand (70.2).
Georgette Tan, Senior VP, Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard said, “Findings from this study show that consumers’ outlook on their overall wellbeing is invariably shaped by the reality of their everyday lives, as well as social, economic and political conditions. In addition, we also see that strong opportunities for growth can imbue optimism and hope for the future as exemplified by Asia’s emerging economies like India, China and Indonesia, where their higher wellbeing scores correlate with growing GDP rates. Such insights are crucial to Mastercard’s work in the region where we’re committed to driving inclusive growth. It gives us a holistic view that complements economic activity, and provides us with a clearer understanding of the progress to be made.”
Across the board, of all four components, people in Asia Pacific were most concerned about their safety from threats (57.6), with those in Myanmar (43.5), Bangladesh (46.6) and Japan (46.9) having felt the most vulnerable. This apprehension was caused mainly by fear of cybercrime (54) and financial crime (55). On the other hand, people in emerging markets, led by India (78.7), Philippines (64.5) and Indonesia (64.3) are the least concerned about their overall safety.
Overall Well-Being Index, country scores
|1. India||75.0||6. Thailand||66.1||11. Hong Kong||58.6||16. Taiwan||54.3|
|2. Philippines||73.0||7. Myanmar||64.6||12. Singapore||58.6||17. Korea||52.1|
|3. Indonesia||71.4||8. Cambodia||63.9||13. Sri Lanka||56.6||18. Japan||50.4|
|4. Vietnam||71.4||9. New Zealand||63.5||14. Bangladesh||55.5|
|5. China||68.2||10. Australia||59.6||15. Malaysia||54.9|
|Average for Asia Pacific||62.1|
|Average for developed Asia Pacific||56.7|
|Average for emerging Asia Pacific||65.5|
Well-Being Index – Work & Finances component, country scores
|1. Vietnam||81.5||6. New Zealand||71.7||11. Australia||60.4||16. Singapore||52.7|
|2. Philippines||79.2||7. Myanmar||66.9||12. Japan||59.5||17. Malaysia||51.9|
|3. Indonesia||77.2||8. Thailand||65.9||13. India||56.0||18. Sri Lanka||50.3|
|4. China||75.3||9. Bangladesh||65.0||14. Korea||53.9|
|5. Cambodia||71.8||10. Hong Kong||61.3||15. Taiwan||52.9|
|Average for Asia Pacific||64.1|
|Average for Developed Asia Pacific||58.9|
|Average for Emerging Asia Pacific||67.3|
Well-Being Index – Safety from Threats component, country scores:
|1. India||78.7||6. Thailand||63.1||11. Cambodia||56.8||16. Japan||46.9|
|2. Philippines||64.5||7. China||60.3||12. Taiwan||55.5||17. Bangladesh||46.6|
|3. Indonesia||64.3||8. Australia||59.8||13. Sri Lanka||51.8||18. Myanmar||43.5|
|4. Singapore||64.2||9. Vietnam||59.4||14. South Korea||50.9|
|5. New Zealand||63.4||10. Hong Kong||57.9||15. Malaysia||48.5|
|Average for Asia Pacific||57.6|
|Average for Developed Asia Pacific||56.9|
|Average for Emerging Asia Pacific||57.9|
Well-Being Index – Satisfaction component, country scores
|1. India||83.0||6. Indonesia||71.1||11. Sri Lanka||61.7||16. Taiwan||56.8|
|2. Philippines||78.2||7. Thailand||70.2||12. Singapore||60.8||17. South Korea||55.7|
|3. Myanmar||75.4||8. Cambodia||68.3||13. Malaysia||60.4||18. Japan||49.7|
|4. Vietnam||72.7||9. New Zealand||65.4||14. Hong Kong||59.2|
|5. China||71.3||10. Australia||62.7||15. Bangladesh||57.1|
|Average for Asia Pacific||65.5|
|Average for Developed Asia Pacific||58.6|
|Average for Emerging Asia Pacific||69.9|
Well-Being Index – Personal Well-Being component, country scores
|1. India||82.6||6. China||65.7||11. Singapore||56.7||16. Taiwan||52.2|
|2. Indonesia||73.2||7. Thailand||65||12. Hong Kong||56.3||17. South Korea||47.9|
|3. Myanmar||72.6||8. Sri Lanka||62.7||13. Australia||55.2||18. Japan||45.7|
|4. Vietnam||72||9. Malaysia||59||14. New Zealand||53.6|
|5. Philippines||70.1||10. Cambodia||58.9||15. Bangladesh||53.4|
|Average for Asia Pacific||61.3|
|Average for Developed Asia Pacific||52.5|
|Average for Emerging Asia Pacific||66.8|
The Mastercard Index suite in Asia Pacific includes the long-running Mastercard Index of Consumer Confidence, as well as the Mastercard Index of Women’s Advancement, Mastercard Index of Financial Literacy, and the Mastercard Index of Global Destination Cities. In addition to the indices, Mastercard’s research properties also include a range of consumer surveys including Online Shopping, Ethical Spending and a series on consumer purchasing priorities (covering travel, dining & entertainment, education, money management, luxury and general shopping).
*The latest Mastercard Well-Being Index is based on a survey conducted between November 2016 and December 2016 on 9,123 consumers aged 18 to 64 in 18 Asia Pacific countries. Consumers were asked 17 questions pertaining to four components. The results of their responses were converted into sub-indices, which were subsequently averaged to form the Mastercard Well-Being Index score. The scores range from 0 to 100 where 0 represents the maximum negative response, and 100 represents the maximum positive response and 50 represents neutrality.