Happiness and Money in Madagascar [2019 Poll Results]

30/08/2019. According to the study “Happiness and Life Satisfaction” by Esteban Ortiz-Ospina and Max Roser, rich countries are more inclined to be optimistic about life. This can be seen in the Global Happiness Index, which places countries such as Finland, Denmark and Norway on the podium of the world’s happiest countries this year, followed by other Northern European countries. But does money mean happiness? The Stileex Post then conducted a field study in Antananarivo with 1044 respondents to find out the relationship between happiness and money in Madagascar.

How to make money in Madagascar?

If we ask Tananarivians what three ways of earning money spontaneously come to mind, the answers are not long in coming: working and earning a salary (57%), being self-employed (56%), and owning one’s own business are the most frequent answers we received. Less cited, but still opted by some Tananarivians, being an inventor and discoverer (25%), dirty money (21%) and real estate investments which have two points less (19%) come in second place.

Gambling, knowing that only 7% of Malagasy people play it regularly, financial investments, winning an inheritance, credits, being a top-level sportsman, selling all one’s possessions, being an artist or making savings are undoubtedly the means judged to be the least effective in view of the votes obtained, which are 17%, 12%, 12%, 11%, 9%, 8% and 4% respectively.

But which of these options is then the best way to make money? According to the Tananarivians, nothing beats working on one’s own to become rich (35%), which is eleven points ahead of the option to work and earn a salary (24%). If we often hear that nobody becomes rich by working 8 hours a day and earning a salary, the citizens of the capital definitely think the opposite.

The future doesn’t scare the Tananarivians

The next question we asked the Tananarivians asked them which statement best described the way they approached life. According to the answers received, our respondents hesitated between “Whatever the future holds for me, I am ready,” chosen by 430 Tananarivians, or 41% of our panel, followed, to a point, by the statement “I am preparing for the future, but without forgetting to sometimes take advantage of the present moment,” which convinced 40% of our respondents. 19% of Malagasy people, for their part, prefer to live from day to day, without worrying about the next day.

The priority in Madagascar: money, family, health?

So in Madagascar, we tend to pay tribute to friends and family by singing out loud “friends first” like Georges Brassens or not? Well no, in the country, health comes first, according to almost 3 out of 4 Tananarivians, followed by family at 27% and finally by money and career according to 16 respondents among our panel of 1044 people, or 2%.

Even though money does not seem to be high on the list of priorities of our respondents, we still wanted to know why they wanted the money. For the most part (82%), being able to acquire valuable goods seems to be the primary motivation of the inhabitants of the capital, followed by the desire to live without worries or constraints (16%) and the thirst for power (2%). Our Tananarivians still want to remain modest because none of them has opted for glory.

Happiness is in a well-paid job according to the Tananarivians

“How many Tananarivians have ever thought of changing their lives? “Contrary to what one might think, the people of Tananarivo are very happy with the life they lead, because only 14% of our respondents have thought about it. For what reason? 71% of them say they are unhappy and the remaining 29% say they don’t earn much. On the other hand, none of the respondents said they hate their job.

But in Antananarivo, do people choose a job for the income it generates? Absolutely. Because according to 3 out of 5 Tanananarivians (60%), the choice of a job is made according to the remuneration. Moreover, according to 64% of our respondents, a high income guarantees an interesting and pleasant job. It is undoubtedly a corollary to this question that 70% of them answered that they do not want to change jobs with a lower income in order to be more fulfilled in their professional life. 29% are nevertheless ready to take the step, while 3% are hesitant.

Tananarivians and work

We first asked how many hours the Tananarivians worked:

EmployeesCraftsmen, farmers and tradersLiberal ProfessionsExecutives, business leaders and senior intellectual professions
Less than 5h0 %3 %1 %0 %
6h5 %6 %11 %0 %
7h5 %7 % 6 %0 %
8h73 %37 %41 %100 %
9h7 %23 %22 %0 %
10h6 %20 %14 %0 %
11h0 %0 %1 %0 %
12h and more4 %4 %4 %0 %

According to these working hours, the Tananarivians consider that they can consider themselves lucky by earning between 400 and 600,000 Ar (37%), a little more for 28% of those surveyed who ask for between 600 and 800,000 Ar. For 16% of Tananarivians, between 200 and 400,000 Ar may be enough, while for 10% of our respondents, between 800 and 1,000,000 Ar should make them happy. 6% need a little more money to feel fulfilled, to the tune of 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 Ar. The most “greedy”, but understandable given the cost of living in Madagascar and who make up 1% of our panel, said that earning between 1 500 and 2 000 000 Ar would make them happy. 2% of Tananarivians who participated in our survey responded that they could be satisfied with between 100 and 200 000 Ar.

But making money for what? The three most common choices made by Tananarivians are to buy or build a house (79%), buy land (51%) and buy a car (24%). Helping the family and putting money aside follow with 21% of the ways. Buying furniture (13%), a motorbike (10%) or making donations (10%), household appliances (8%), travelling (7%), solving health problems (3%) or starting a business (1%) are also part of the Tananarivians’ projects.

For the sake of happiness, in Madagascar we are willing to sacrifice money

In Madagascar, nearly 3 out of 5 Malagasy people are willing to sacrifice money for happiness. Then, in order to be happy, 19% of our respondents confess to be able to get rid of their family or to ruin their health for 7% of our panel. The remaining 3% did not want to express an opinion on this.

Still in this sense, 4% of our respondents admitted having no qualms about hurting their relatives if they were given enough money to be able to live their whole life without missing anything, the majority (96%) answered in the negative.

90% of Tananarivians do not consider themselves in need

Rich? No, not a single Tananarivian considers himself to be rich, on the other hand 1% of our respondents say they are in the process of becoming rich. What is certain is that 90% of the citizens of the City of a Thousand say that they lack nothing, 90%. The remaining 9% say they are poor. Yes, but do they want to become rich one day? More than half of our respondents, 56% to be precise, are confident about this, 33% would probably wish to become rich while 11% of the 1044 Tananarivians we interviewed would not quite wish to become rich.

Moreover, 65% of our panel think it is possible to become rich in Madagascar if 35% answered in the negative.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here