Japan Data

Okinawa and West Japan Top Happiness Ranking in Japan


A survey on regional sustainability conducted by the Brand Research Institute found that Okinawa was the top-ranked prefecture for the second year running for the level of happiness among its residents.

Okinawa Prefecture topped the happiness scale for the second consecutive year according to the Brand Research Institute’s 2022 Regional Sustainability Survey, which aims to promote regional sustainability among residents of Japan’s 47 prefectures. The survey was conducted in late May, targeting people aged 15 and older, with around 500 valid responses from each prefecture and a total of 23,000 responses.

When asked, “Are you happy?” 41.8% of Okinawa residents reported being “very happy” and 36.2% “somewhat happy.” In contrast to that combined total of nearly 80% contented residents, there were relatively few negative responses, with just 2.6% describing themselves as “not happy at all” and 5.3% as “not so happy.”

Many of the top-ranked prefectures are located in western Japan, including second-place Kagoshima and third-place Miyazaki. Meanwhile, prefectures in the Tokyo area were at the bottom of the ranking, including Tokyo in 46th place, Kanagawa in 45th place, and Chiba in 44th place. The color-coded map clearly shows a trend toward greater happiness in the west than in the east.

The Regional Sustainability Survey also asked respondents about life satisfaction, attachment to the locality, and willingness to reside permanently. Okinawa topped the ranking in the categories of happiness, attachment to the locality, and willingness to reside permanently, and was second only to Fukuoka in terms of life satisfaction.

Happiness Ranking: Top and Bottom

Ranking (Previous year) Prefecture Score (Average 70.1)
1 (1) Okinawa 77.4
2 (15) Kagoshima 75.4
3 (2) Miyazaki 74.9
4 (31) Shizuoka 74.2
5 (12) Fukuoka 73.9
6 (27) Wakayama 72.7
7 (28) Saga 72.6
8 (14) Nagano 72.2
9 (15) Ishikawa 72.1
10 (11) Mie 71.9
38 (24) Aichi 68.2
39 (37) Toyama 68.0
40 (43) Aomori 67.8
40 (44) Fukushima 67.8
40 (32) Tokushima 67.8
43 (21) Tochigi 66.3
44 (30) Chiba 65.9
45 (46) Kanagawa 65.8
46 (45) Tokyo 65.7
47 (40) Akita 65.0

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

Okinawa Tokyo Kagoshima