India ranks very low in World Happiness Report

BL New Delhi Bureau | Updated on: Mar 19, 2022 photojournalis

The land of spirituality and philosophy is rated low by its own people

India may be one of the fastest growing economies of the world, but it is among the least happiest countries. Ahead of the UN International Day of Happiness, observed on March 20, the World Happiness Report 2022 ranked India 136 th — tenth from the bottom of the list — while Finland topped the charts for the fifth year in a row.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Israel and New Zealand figure among the top ten in the list of 146 nations.

The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network powered by the Gallup World Poll data. The report, which is in its tenth year, uses global survey data to report on how people evaluate their own lives, besides economic and social parameters. The rankings are based on average data of a three-year period of 2019-2021.

Although India improved its position in the list compared to last year, it ranks lower than its neighbours such as China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan.

Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania made the biggest gains in this year’s rankings, while Lebanon, Venezuela and Afghanistan saw the biggest fall in their rankings. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve , one of the co-authors of the report, said in a statement that “at the very bottom of the ranking we find societies that suffer from conflict and extreme poverty, notably we find that people in Afghanistan evaluate the quality of their own lives as merely 2.4 out of 10. “

Key determinants

The report comes amidst the ongoing Covid -19 pandemic as well as the Ukraine-Russia crisis. “We found during 2021 remarkable worldwide growth in all three acts of kindness monitored in the Gallup World Poll. Helping strangers, volunteering, and donations in 2021 were strongly up in every part of the world, reaching levels almost 25 per cent above their pre-pandemic prevalence,” noted co-author John Helliwell .

The goal behind the report is to identify key determinants of well-being. This information is expected to help countries to craft policies aimed at achieving happier societies.

Over the years, happiness has become a key metric to track for not just countries but corporates as well. Several progressive workplaces, including Google, Amazon and Airbnb , have appointed Chief Happiness Officers.

Raj Nayak , Founder of and House of Cheer Networks, said, “There is overwhelming evidence that shows when people are happy in an organisation, their health is better, the attrition levels are lower, involvement level is higher there is more connectedness and better collaboration, people are more creative and highly productive, all of which has direct bearing on the company’s bottomline ,” he added.

Field day for Opposition

Meanwhile, India’s low ranking on the World Happiness Report 2022 was avidly discussed by social-media users including opposition leaders.

“Hunger Rank: 101. Freedom Rank: 119. Happiness Rank: 136. But, we may soon top the hate and anger charts,” tweeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. The Left said Indian people’s growing hunger, poverty, unemployment, along with inflation and worsening social harmony are robbing people of their happiness.

Published on March 19, 2022
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