China’s Least Happy People are Educated Single Males (from Guizhou)

It isn't easy being smart

Singletons attending a speed dating in mainland China.

Singletons attending a speed dating in mainland China.

It isn’t easy being Chinese if you’re male, a PhD candidate, and single. It’s the absolute worst if you’re also from Guizhou.

New research by the Southwestern Economics University found Chinese singles in the 20 to 30 age group scored 126 on the happiness index, which is scale from 100 to 150 with 150 being the happiest. When singles in the 30 to 40 age group were examined, the happiness index score dropped even lower to 119.8.

Perhaps the most unhappy singles in China were those with PhD degrees, whose scored 109.4 on the index. According to the research, the average score for PhDs was about 121. Contrary to the common belief that female PhDs were the least happy, research showed that male PhDs were less happy than their female counterparts, scoring 117.1 on the happiness index compared with 121.6 for the ladies.

Guizhou residents fared no better. The province’s happiness index was calculated at 118.6, well below the national average of 130.5. One reason believed to be driving Guizhou’s unhappiness is pressures involved with housing. Research showed that buying a 90 square meter apartment in the province required at least 16 years of work, which is the fifth longest in the country. Shandong, on the other hand, enjoyed the highest happiness index score at 147.5, given that it takes only seven years to buy the same-sized apartment. It’s also one of the least expensive real estate markets, along with Heilongjiang Province and Inner Mongolia.

Maybe the most interesting finding?  High-income earners, including the so-called white, rich, and pretty (白富美) and tall, rich, and handsome (高富帅), which earn more than RMB 30 per hour, enjoyed the same level of happiness with the diaosi, the self-proclaimed losers, who earned between RMB 7 to 12 per hour.

Natalie Wang

Journalist based in Hong Kong.