Pinoys feel most loved, global survey shows

By Fidea Encarnacion,

Posted at Feb 16 2014 03:38 PM | Updated as of Feb 17 2014 09:03 PM

Newly-wed couples cross an improvised walkway made of sandbags after attending a mass wedding ceremony at Rosario, Cavite last Thursday. Photo by Romeo Ranoco, Reuters

MANILA – The Philippines ranked first in a global index, first released by a research group in 2013, that attempted to quantify a population’s feelings of love.

One year after the its release, one of the authors of the study still marvels at "the most amazing (non-linear) relationship ever discovered in economic data."

Justin Wolfers, who conducted the study with Betsey Stevenson, was referring to "the heart-shaped cloud" that was formed when a commenter plotted "the proportion of people feeling love in a country on a typical day, versus a measure of GDP per capita."

During the Valentine's Day weekend, The Atlantic brought up the study again and Wolfers' reaction to it after a year.

In the survey published by Gallup for Valentine's Day last year, conducted by Stevenson and Wolfers from 2006 to 2007, people from 136 countries were asked, “Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about love?"

The results released shows that the Philippines topped the list with a whopping 93% of the country’s population reporting they feel love.

Rwanda followed closely with 92% and Puerto Rico with 90%.

Photo grabbed from Gallup's report.

At the bottom of the list are Armenia with 29% and Mongolia and Uzbekistan both with 32%.

Photo grabbed from Gallup's report.

In an article published on Gallup’s official website, Wolfers said the concept of love differs with each person, and is dependent on factors like culture and interaction with other people.

“It is important to note that differences between countries may be due to how cultures define 'love' and not in actual day-to-day experiences. For example, in some countries, the idea of 'love' is restricted to a romantic partner, while in others it extends to one’s family members and friends,” he said.

In a commentary for Bloomberg last year, Wolfer wrote: "What’s perhaps more striking is how little money matters on a global level. True, the populations of richer countries are, on average, slightly more likely to feel loved than those of poorer countries. But love is still abundant in the poorer countries: People in Rwanda and the Philippines enjoyed the highest love ratios, with more than 9 in 10 people providing positive responses."

Further correlating love with economics, Wolfer added:
"If we can find more love for our fellow citizens, our society will function better. Hard as this may be to achieve in an era when trust in government, business and one another is low, it’s worth the effort. When you expand the boundaries of trust and reciprocity, you expand the boundaries of what is possible. "