Children in Manila. Photo: iStock

The Philippines ranked as the third happiest country in the world in a “global” year-end survey by Gallup International.

According to Gallup’s 41st Annual Global End of Year Survey, the top 10 happiest countries were Fiji, Colombia, the Philippines, Mexico, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, India, Argentina and the Netherlands.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr said in a statement on Tuesday that it was not surprising that the Philippines ranked high in the global happiness index.

“We Filipinos are known as happy, resilient people. We even manage to smile amid difficulties,” he said.

The survey also ranked the Philippines as the fifth most optimistic country when it comes to economic prosperity. It was also the ninth most optimistic country in the world, according to the poll.

However, that buoyant outlook wasn’t shared by respondents in other countries. “A bit less than 40% of the surveyed global population feels that 2018 will be better than 2017 – which is 13 points down compared to a year ago,” the survey said.

Roque said hope about the country’s economic prosperity could be attributed to the palpable change our people have felt under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Our people have, indeed, appreciated these changes as reflected in the survey numbers,” he said.

The survey was in reality not a truly global survey – polling was done in just 55 countries of the world’s 195 countries.

A total of 53,769 people were interviewed from October to December 2017 – with a sample of just 1,000 men and women interviewed face-to-face, over the phone or online in most countries, it said.