Women from Asia Pacific’s Emerging and Developed Markets Reveal Different Levels of Well-Being

Women from Asia Pacific’s Emerging and Developed Markets Reveal Different Levels of Well-Being

The FINANCIAL -- Women in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets tend to have more positive views of their own well-being when compared to their developed counterparts, according to the inaugural MasterCard Index of Well-Being.

The Index, based on a survey of 16 Asia Pacific markets, aims to measure the level of well-being among nations by examining the impact of wide-ranging factors such as work-life balance, cyber-crime and disease outbreak on respondents.

The spread of the overall Well-Being index values across the 16 Asia Pacific markets shows all of them above the neutral (50 point) mark bracketed by Myanmar (70.9) and Indonesia (70.0) on the high end and Japan (53.6) and South Korea (54.9) on the low end.

The seven developed markets featured on average lower scores (average of 58.9) than emerging markets (65.7). Women in the North East Asia cluster of Japan (53.6), Korea (54.9) and Taiwan (55.0) fell below the average for developed markets. On the emerging markets front, Malaysia (58.0) and Bangladesh (55.3) are visibly below the emerging market average, according to MasterCard.

“At first glance, the contrast in scores between developing and emerging markets seems to suggest that a higher standard of living may not necessarily translate to a higher sense of well-being as there are other influences involved such as cultural or psychological ones,” said Georgette Tan, group head, Communications, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard.

Women in developed Asia Pacific ranked marginally higher in only one component of the survey – ‘safety from threats’ – with a score of 57.0 compared to 55.2 for emerging markets.

Women in emerging markets score higher across all other components compared with their counterparts in more developed economies, with the greatest difference seen in the ‘satisfaction’ component (69.9 vs. 59.0) and ‘personal well-being’ (67.4 vs. 55.0), according to MasterCard.


Women in emerging markets are also clearly more optimistic about their work and finances including their outlook on regular income and employment. In comparison, women from developed markets appear to be in greater control when it comes to keeping up with their bills or saving for big purchases, possibly due to the better margins afforded by their higher incomes.

“What differentiates this research from other studies is the holistic view we’ve taken in understanding the factors that impact the level of well-being amongst women. As we look to enhance the role of women in society, our research provides a complementary view to economic data, ultimately helping us better gauge the progress that still needs to be made in this space,” Tan added.