Kazakhstan Ranked Among 50 Happiest Countries in the World

Tourists from Taraz ride a horse-drawn carriage around the Park of 28 Panfilov Guardsmen, Almaty. Photo: TCA

In the recently published UN and Gallup World Happiness Report 2024, Kazakhstan was ranked among the top 50 happiest countries in the world, ahead of Russia, Armenia and Georgia. However, the Baltic States and Uzbekistan returned higher happiness scores on the index.

This rating, presented on March 20, was developed on the basis of a three-year study conducted by UN experts, Gallup and other scientists. Citizens of different countries assessed their quality of life by taking into account a variety of factors, including economic status, GDP, life expectancy, major life challenges, sense of freedom, public responsiveness, and the level of corruption. These interdisciplinary studies help the understanding of how different aspects of life interact and influence the overall sense of happiness.

TCA asked citizens from across Kazakhstan about the their feelings regarding the level of happiness presented in the report, and met with mixed feelings.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t have such a feeling,” Alua, a 21-year-old pedagogical student from Taraz told TCA. “After all, food prices are rising almost daily, and wages are not growing as fast. Also, conditions in state institutions haven’t changed much, especially in healthcare and education.”

“I’ve seen this rating, but prices are rising so quickly that Almaty has become the most expensive city in Central Asia,” Sanzhar, a 22-year-old CMM specialist from Almaty commented.

“To be honest, I don’t think there have been any significant changes that mean we’re happier than before,” Merey, a 28-year-old singer from Astana told TCA. “The only thing maybe because the coronavirus pandemic was in full swing three years ago, so compared to that the situation is much better now, so people think they’ve become happier. However, the socio-economic situation in the country hasn’t changed that much, so it’s strange for me to hear that people in our country are happier than in Georgia, for example.”

Comments from others, however, suggest that life in Kazakhstan is improving year on year.

“Yes, I feel the changes,” Raushan, a 40-year-old Art Historian from Almaty stated. “There is less discrimination due to language barriers, and there’s a growing interest in traditional nomadic culture which leads to the creative development of young talents who are able to make a name for themselves internationally. All this strengthens their faith and motivation to move forward with creative ideas and learn ways to promote their creativity.”

“Thanks to the internet and social networks people are aware of the inhuman things happening in the world. With all that is known, I think people in Kazakhstan are just happy to have a peaceful sky above their heads.” Tair, a 25-year-old businessman from Taraz told TCA.

“I’ve definitely seen an increase in happiness among people. It’s like the confidence in our security has gotten higher for me personally,” Merey, a 20-year-old student from Kostanai commented.