SINGAPORE: Indians are the most optimistic people in Asia-Pacific when it comes to their sense of well-being, according to a new consumer survey of 18 countries in the region.

The latest Mastercard Well-Being Index was conducted at the end of last year and involved more than 9,100 adults who were asked about their economic, social and financial outlook.

Based on four key components of work and finances, safety from threats, personal and work satisfaction, and personal well-being, the report gave India an overall index score of 75.0.

This placed India well above the Asia-Pacific average of 62.1 as well as the average for emerging markets (65.5), leading Mastercard to note that the country was the only market to have reached a very optimistic level in the history of the survey.

According to the study, it appears that a stress-free life with strong work-life balance is key to happiness, a point reinforced by the results for Japan (50.4) and South Korea (52.1).

"Asia's developed economies have struggled to advance out of neutral territory, owing to deep entrenchment in a culture of overtime and high levels of work-related stress," the report said.

By contrast, some of the other optimistic markets in the region included the Philippines (73.0), Indonesia (71.4), Vietnam (71.4), China (68.2) and Thailand (66.1).

The Mastercard survey also revealed that, out of the four components, consumers in the region felt most satisfied with their personal and work life (65.5).

This sentiment was buoyed by strong fulfilment among consumers in emerging markets, such as India (83.0), the Philippines (78.2), Myanmar (75.4), Vietnam (72.7), China (71.3), Indonesia (71.1) and Thailand (70.2).

"Findings from this study show that consumers' outlook on their overall well-being is invariably shaped by the reality of their everyday lives, as well as social, economic and political conditions," said Georgette Tan, Mastercard’s SVP Communications APAC.

"In addition, we also see that strong opportunities for growth can imbue optimism and hope for the future as exemplified by Asia's emerging economies like India, China and Indonesia, where their higher well-being scores correlate with growing GDP rates," she added.

Data sourced from Mastercard; additional content by Warc staff