Unmarried Indonesians happier than those in wedlock, index shows

JAKARTA (Bloomberg) - Unmarried Indonesians are happier than those wedded, and urban dwellers are more content than those living in the archipelago's rural pockets, according to an index of happiness.

The Indonesian Happiness Index of 2017 stood at 70.69 on a scale of zero to 100, the nation's statistics office said in a statement in Jakarta on Tuesday (Aug 15). The composite measure took into account factors such as life satisfaction and meaning of life, with a score of 100 being the highest, the agency said.

The bureau changed the method of arriving at the happiness index this year and published the score for the first time since 2014. Using the old methodology, the index rose to 69.51 this year from 68.28 in 2014, the agency said.

The indicator for family harmony was the highest at 80.05, while the reading for education and skillfulness ranked the lowest at 59.90. Indonesians below 24 years were the happiest, with a score of 71.29, while those older than 65 years got a rating of 69.18, the agency said.

Other highlights of the index are:

- Social life satisfaction rises with age and peaks at 41 to 64 years old, with a score of 76.27

- Men with a score of 71.12 are happier than women at 70.30 

- Papua province is least happy at 67.52, while North Maluku is happiest at 75.68

- Urban dwellers are happier at 71.64, compared with 69.57 for those in rural areas

- Those widowed scored 68.37, more than those divorced at 67.83