India is one of the least happiest countries in the world. The fifth annual World Happiness Report puts India at the 122nd spot in a list of 155 countries, well below all of its South Asian neighbours as well as Iraq and Iran.
Norway tops the list to become the world’s happiest country, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. While Norway moved up from its fourth place in the last report, the US fell to the 14th spot.
The report, unveiled at the United Nations by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, ranks 155 countries on the basis of data gleaned from the Gallup World Poll.
India ranks the lowest among its South Asian neighbours. Pakistan is at the 80th spot, while Bangladesh is at 110 and Nepal at the 99th spot.
What Determines A Country’s Happiness Levels?
GDP alone cannot doesn’t account for happiness among people. China and India’s ranking are proof. Interestingly, Bhutan, which uses the Gross National Happiness method to measure economic progress, ranks at 97 on the list.
According to the report, factors that determine happiness include economic variables (such as income and employment), social factors (such as education and family life), and health (mental and physical)... In every country, physical health is also important, yet in no country is it more important than mental health.
So Why Does India Rank So Low?
Observing the mood of a country helps keep a tab on the residents’ levels of satisfaction with country’s social, health, labour and economic policies.
World Happiness Report, 2017The top 10 countries on the list rank high in terms of GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble), trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business), perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity (as measured by recent donations).
How many of these happiness indicators can you relate to? Indians work the longest hours, with an average of 52 hours per week. Indian millennials are also the fourth most vacation-deprived workforce in the world. Add to the mix the rising levels of pollution and depreciating health, and Indians are one of the world’s most over-worked and tired people. Who has time for happiness?