Social Indicators Research

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 141–156 | Cite as

Determinants of Life Satisfaction in Asia

  • Yee Ting NgooEmail author
  • Nai Peng Tey
  • Eu Chye Tan


While many studies on life satisfaction have been conducted in Western countries, there is still a dearth of such studies in Asia and other parts of the less developed world. To fill the lacuna in research, we used data from the Asia Barometer survey to examine the differentials in life satisfaction across Asian countries, and analyse the determinants of life satisfaction in the four sub-regions of Asia. We found that many other factors such as marital status, standard of living, and role of government have a greater influence than income on life satisfaction in Asia. The importance of marital status on life satisfaction in Asia can be attributed to Asian culture which places great emphasis on family values. The standard of living is probably a better measure of quality of life than income, as it takes into account non-monetary benefits such as better facilities provided by state. In low resource countries, good governance and efficient utilization of resources for the benefit of the citizens contributes to life satisfaction. However, education, gender and age are not significant determinants of life satisfaction in Asian countries. Be that as it may, education may have an indirect role as it tends to improve the job status of an individual and hence one’s income and standard of living. Policies that are formulated to enhance life satisfaction should be geared towards strengthening the family institution, improving the standard of living and good governance, while pursuing socioeconomic development and increasing the country’s GDP.


Asia Life satisfaction Well-being Happiness Determinants 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Malaya and Universiti Tunku Abdul RahmanKuala LumpurMalaysia
  2. 2.University of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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