CAMBODIA has placed last among 46 Asian countries surveyed in a new poll on “global wellbeing” conducted by the US-based Gallup polling organisation.
Released on Thursday in Washington, the survey used data collected since 2005 to analyse the welfare of people in 155 countries and areas. In 1,000 telephone and face-to-face interviews with Cambodians aged 15 and older, respondents were asked to rate their current well-being, as well as their life prospects for five years in the future, and were assigned to one of three categories based on their responses: “Thriving”, “Struggling” or “Suffering”.
Gallup concluded that just 3 percent of Cambodians are thriving, compared with 75 percent who are struggling and 22 percent who are suffering. A margin of error for the data was not given.
Regional neighbours fared better: in Laos, Gallup said, 7 percent of people are thriving while 89 percent are struggling and just 4 percent are suffering.
In Thailand, 20 percent are thriving, 75 percent are struggling and 5 percent are suffering, while in Vietnam, 14 percent are thriving, 76 percent are struggling and 10 percent are suffering.
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan dismissed Gallup’s Cambodia data as “just a number”, emphasising the Kingdom’s economic progress and its status as a developing country.
“They have to take measurements from the culture, take measurements from historical events,” Phay Siphan said. “We just got out from civil war.”
In February, the International Republican Institute released a survey which found that 79 percent of Cambodians feel that the country is going in the “right direction”, with respondents touting the construction of roads and schools as positive indicators for the Kingdom.