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Saturday, December 31, 2011
PCPO poll of Palestinians: 64.4% think 2012 will be better than 2011

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: Dr. Kukali is a fantastic pollster, but his claim
that "Palestinians are the only people left in the world, who are occupied
by another nation" is rhetoric out of touch with reality. The world -
including our own neighborhood - is full of groupings of people who live
under the "occupation" of other groupings of people.]

NEW YEAR GLOBAL POLL“ ON HAPPINESS"

Dr. Nabil Kukali: “ 53 % of the world population are happy, whilst our
Palestinian people stand at the bottom of the world’s happiness scale “.

Zurich, 30 December 2011 — A new global poll conducted on the eve of new
year shows that low hopes for the economy fail to dampen a feeling of
Happiness at new year. Thus when asked: Are you happy or unhappy, the global
net happiness stands at 40% showing that the “happy” outnumber the “unhappy”
by 40% points. The global survey was carried out by the world’s largest
independent network of opinion pollsters, WIN-Gallup International, which
includes (67) of the biggest and most famous, independent pollsters and
research companies all over the world, covering 89.0 % of the world market.
WIN-Gallup International allows only one associate for a definite country.
The associates are incorporated forming an international program, on the
basis of which the works are exchanged between the members on the best
international standard of experience, proficiency and clients’ service. The
Palestinian Territories (Palestine) are represented in WIN-Gallup
International by the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, which is run by
its President, Dr. Nabil Kukali.

The above poll is conducted in over 58 countries (52,913 interviews),
covering the vast majority of world population. The network has conducted
this annual poll on the eve of new year since 1977. The global poll which
had earlier focused on prospects for the economy added a question this year
on “Happiness”. The findings turned out to be quite revealing. The
attainment of Happiness is aided by economic hopefulness; but often
“happiness” refuses to be subdued by economic gloom. Thus 42% of the global
“gloomies” who are gloomy about economic prospects of 2012 say they are on
the whole “happy”. Evidently despite economic gloom most European nations
are in the Happy Box. The survey also finds that nations which are
struggling hard to move up on global economic ladder produce a lot of
“unhappy” people. Thus net happiness in China is nearly half of global
average and stands at 25%. In contrast the economically pressured Spaniards
score 55% net happiness. Perhaps the feeling to “be happy” is also a
cultural trait!

According to the WIN-Gallup International Global Barometer of Happiness 53%
of the world say they feel happy while 13% say they feel “unhappy”. Another
31% say they are “neither happy nor unhappy” while 3% did not respond.

WHAT MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY?

It is hard to pin down what exactly makes people happy. Perhaps there is no
definitive answer. Yet a world-wide poll leads to interesting points to
ponder.

RELATIVE STATUS AND NOT MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS

The survey carried out in 58 countries covering vast majority of global
population shows that it is not the amount of money you have but the
relative status which you enjoy in your society makes you feel happy. The
surveyed countries included the poorest with an average yearly income of
less than 1000 USD and the richest whose average incomes are 50 times
higher. Yet when it comes to “happiness” it is determined by the relative
status which a person enjoys in his or her own society..

MIDDLE AGE PUTS A STRESS ON HAPPINESS

The global poll on happiness shows that those in the middle age (51-65 year
olds) have lower net happiness at 33% compared to both the under 30 (net
happiness is 44%) and over 65 years olds (net happiness is 43%).

UNEMPLOYED AND RETIRED ARE LESS HAPPY

There is a notable decline (from the average) in happiness among the
unemployed and retired. Among the unemployed, net happiness is only 20% at
less than half of national average; among the retired population net
happiness is 34%.

“BELIEF” SEEMS TO EARN HAPPINESS

The global poll further shows that those who claim “no religion” have lower
net happiness at 27% compared to those with religious beliefs, among whom
net happiness is generally higher, with Catholics at 54%, Protestants at
54%, Jewish at 50%, Muslims at 42% Hindus at 43%. Only one religious group,
Orthodox Christians score lower than average, as among them net happiness is
28%.

IS THERE A CULTURE OF HAPPINESS?

Perhaps yes; The data show that despite being behind the North Americans in
terms of hope about economic upturn the West Europeans in general and the
Spanish in particular score much higher on net happiness. Net Happiness
score for North America is 31% compared with 50% for West Europe as a whole
and the economically despondent Spaniards who, when it comes to Happiness
score 55%. Africa as a group scores 66% net Happiness and Latin America
scores 63%.

Commentary by Jean-Marc Leger, President WIN-Gallup International

Pollsters and policy makers learn from each other. We took a cue from the
British Prime Minister Cameroon who had commissioned a study on Happiness
among Britons, to extend the same on a global level, albeit with one simple
core question: do you feel happy, unhappy or neither. The findings across
the world are remarkably instructive on what makes the human species happy:
money or relative economic status; does happiness rise or fall with age;
does ‘culture’ play a role? The core finding at the onset of 2012 is
reassuring: Economic gloom fails to subdue human desire to feel happy. Net
Happiness at a global level is overwhelmingly positive. Happy New Year!

The Poll Results in the Palestinian Territories are as follows:

Q1. As far as you are concerned, do you think that 2012 will be better, or
worse than 2011?
1. Better 64.4 %
2. Worse 12.6 %
3. Same 22.4 %
4. Don’t know / no response 0.6%

Q2. Compared with this year, in your opinion, will next year be a year of
economic prosperity, economic difficulty or remain the same?
1. Economic prosperity 20.6 %
2. Economic difficulty 46.5 %
3. Remain the same 31.9 %
4. Don’t know / no response 1.0 %

Q3. So far as you are concerned, do you personally feel happy, unhappy or
neither happy nor un-happy about your life?
1. Happy 31.5 %
2. Unhappy 24.6 %
3. Neither Happy nor Unhappy 43.0 %
4. Don’t know / no response 0.9 %

Q4. Generally speaking, do you think immigration including bringing in
foreign workers is a good thing or a bad thing for this country?
1. Good 28.6 %
2. Bad 46.0 %
3. Neither Good nor Bad 24.1 %
4. Don’t know / no response 1.3 %

Q5. Irrespective of whether you attend a place of worship or not, would
you say you are?
1. A religious person 65.2 %
2. Not a religious person 28.8 %
3. A convinced atheist 3.8 %
4. Don’t know / no response 2.2 %

Q6. Have there been times in the last twelve months when you and/or your
family have not had enough to eat?
1. Often 17.3 %
2. Sometimes 34.3 %
3. Rarely 21.1 %
4. Never 21.6 %
5. Don’t know / no response 5.8 %

Q7 During the last 12 months, did you do any voluntary work; that is
devoting time to a job for a non-for-profit organization without receiving
any wage or salary in exchange?
1. Yes 43.0 %
2. No 49.0 %
3. Don’t know / no response 8.0 %

Q8. Do you think the world next year (2012) will be more peaceful (with
fewer wars and terror) or less peaceful than the year which has just passed
(2011); or will there be no difference?
1. More peaceful 26.4 %
2. Less peaceful 29.7 %
3. No difference 40.9 %
4. Don’t know / no response 3.0 %

Q9. So far as you are concerned, do you think that in 2012, economy
related protests and industrial disputes in Palestine will increase,
decrease, or remain the same?
1. Increase 31.9 %
2. Decrease 14.5 %
3. Remain the same 29.9 %
4. Don’t know / no response 23.7 %

Comment of Dr. Nabil Kukali on the poll results:

In his comment on the results of this poll, the economic expert and the
President of the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion, Dr. Nabil Kukali,
said: at the end of every year since 1977, WIN-Gallup International and its
associate members conducted this global poll not only on hopes and
perspectives of the world population in regard to the economic situation in
the next year, but also on “happiness”. The poll conducted here in our
Palestinian territories revealed that our Palestinian people are at the
bottom of the happiness scale of the world population. The average income of
the Palestinian citizen is the last but one. Only Afghanistan is behind on
the list. Yet the most decisive factor of our unhappiness is the Israeli
occupation with its throttlehold on all aspects of our life. Palestinians
are the only people left in the world, who are occupied by another nation.
How can such a folk be happy ? Nevertheless, Palestinians didn’t lose hope
for a better future, for a more peaceful new year. In this sense, the
Palestinian Center for Public Opinion sincerely wishes you a peaceful,
prosperous and a happy New Year.

Dr. Kukali further added that the majority of the Palestinian people feel
that the coming year will be economically a hard year, referring clearly
thereby to the economic crisis the Palestinian territories are enduring. The
decision of the United States to halt the financial aid allocated to the
Palestinian territories and the reduction of the economic assistance offered
by the donor countries are seriously affecting the local economy and thereby
increasingly impoverish the Palestinian people in general and the labor
force in particular, as these largely depend on such aids. Dr. Kukali
emphasized the importance of this foreign aid to the budget of the
Palestinian Authority in this epoch of occupation as it is at this stage
unable to free the Palestinian economy from the tight fist of the Israeli
occupation.

Dr. Kukali added that the Palestinian territories emerged from this survey
as the penultimate country in respect of the low income and the last one in
respect of the “net happiness”, specifically in the categories “low/ middle
income and low happiness per capita”, whilst West European countries such
as Switzerland and Denmark scored the first position, an evidence, he said,
that there is a distinct link between the economic status of a family and
the barometer of its happiness.

Dr. Kukali further stated that the majority of the Palestinian public
believe that next year (2012) will be less peaceful than the expired year,
and that this gloom is coming from their feeling that the economical
situations next year (in 2012) will further deteriorate than the past years.
He concluded his comment with the statement:” The economic security is an
integral part of the personal security of the citizen, and is therefore a
key factor for the realization of peace”.

Methodology:

The global barometer of hope and despair is an annual tradition initiated
under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977 and is conducted every
year since then. This year it was carried out by associates of WIN-Gallup
International in 58 countries around the world.

Sample and Field Work:

A total of 52,913 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a
national probability sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed
either face to face (35 countries; n=34,320), via telephone (13 countries;
n=11,384) or online (10 countries; n=7,156). Details are attached. The field
work was conducted during November-December 2011. In general the error
margin for surveys of this kind is +3-5% at 95% confidence level.

The global average has been computed according to the share of the covered
adult population of the surveyed countries.

For further details please contact:

Dr. Ijaz Shafi Gilani: Email: gilani@gallup.com.pk

Ms. Rushna Shahid: Email: rushna.shahid@gallup.com.pk

Irene Zuettel: Email: jirene.zuettel@gallup-international.com

Dr. Nabil Kukali: Email: dr.kukali@pcpo.org

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