According to Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam- The happiness, peace, and prosperity of any democratic nation depend upon how happy its citizens perceive themselves to be.
A democratic nation ensures the protection of basic fundamentals right of their citizen as of supreme importance. however, it is equally important to ensure their well-being. And for the same, a resolution was passed in the year 2011 which emphasizes the happiness, prosperity, and individuality of people. The happiness of a country is measured by an index called the world happiness index, and the report published is known as the world happiness report.
The world happiness report is a publication of the United Nations sustainable development solutions network. This report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 149 countries by how happy their people are in real life.
A brief history
On 19 July 2011, the UNGA adopted resolution 65/309 “happiness towards a holistic definition of development” allowing member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use the data to help guide public policy.
The first world happiness report was released on April 1, 2012.
The Bhutanese resolution passed by the general assembly in June 2011 invited national government to “give more importance to happiness and wellbeing in determining how to achieve and measure social and economic development”
Finland had been ranked the happiest country in the world happiness report 2022
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the WHR. World happiness report 2022 ranked India 136th – tenth from the bottom of the list- while Finland topped the chart for the fifth year in a row. It was followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherland.
The top 10 countries are listed in the following table.
The criteria for measuring happiness are based on the Gallup report. Although the world happiness report is based on a wide variety of data, the most important source has always been the Gallup world poll. It is unique in the range and comparability of content and reach of the WHR. It has now become an important data partner.
The Gallup world report- has always given preference and will remain the principal source of data in this report. The ranking is based on polling which looks at six variables and it assigns a happiness score on a scale of 0-10 to evaluate the current life of an individual. It will give 10 for best possible life and likewise 0 for worst life.
The following are the six measures:
- Gross domestic product per capita (PPP).
- Social support
- Healthy life expectancy at birth
- Freedom to make life choices
- Perceptions of corruption
These six variables broadly come from the literature research. Some important variables, such as unemployment or inequality, do not appear in the list of WHI. Because of the fact that the comparable international data are not yet available for full sample of countries.
Why do we use these six factors to explain life evaluations?
Happiness ranking are based on life evaluations as the more stable measure of the quality of people’s lives. Among the six variables, in world happiness report 2022, special attention is being given to specific daily emotions. Like the positive and negative emotions. Positive affect is given by the average of individual yes or no answers for three questions on how did they felt the previous day and similarly for the negative emotions as well.
Some other measures after a decade?
The world happiness report, now in its 10th year, is specifically based on people’s own assessment of their happiness, as well as economic and social data. This year the authors also used data from social media to compare people’s emotions before and after the COVID-19 pandemic. They found a “strong increase in anxiety and sadness” in 18 countries but a fall in feelings of anger.
The lesson of the world happiness report over the years is that social support, generosity to one another, and honesty in government are crucial for wellbeing.