It is undoubtedly a tough choice for our policymakers to make whether “we want a rich India or a happy India.” As PM Modi is showing hope and winning elections by his famous slogan “Achhe Din (Good days),” a famous and most credible report shows that Indians are getting sadder day by day.
The World Happiness Report in support of the UN High Level Meeting on happiness and well-being is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The World Happiness Report 2017, which ranks 155 countries by their happiness levels, has been released on 20th March 2017 at the United Nations at an event celebrating International Day of Happiness. This is the fifth World Happiness Report since 2012.The first World Happiness Report was published in April, 2012, in support of the UN High Level Meeting on happiness and well-being.
India drop down by 4 spot in World Happiness Report
India’s ranking has dropped from 118th to 122nd spot amongst 155 countries in the World Happiness report 2017. Norway topped the list followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland.
The report uses six parameters based on which survey is conducted. The report takes into account the GDP per capita, social support (security), Healthy life expectancy, Freedom to make life choices, Generosity and Trust.
In spite of the fact that India is the largest democracy, fastest growing large economy and seventh largest economy on nominal GDP and third largest economy in Purchasing power parity (PPP), India not only ranks poorly in the list, its position has dropped by 4 ranks. The report shows that India needs to focus and improve on almost all parameters especially social support, Freedom to make life choices and trust. While ruling political party – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made landslide victory in the 2014 Indian general elections and recently UP Assembly elections using its famous slogal of “Achhe Din,” not much seems to be happening on the ground, in terms of achieving real happiness.
There are many countries with GDP lower than India but happier than Indians. Indian government should review the World Happiness Report and take the necessary steps to improve the happiness of its people. Government should implement policies for social security, Freedom to make life choices and trust because these factors bring happiness rather than only money and economic value creation. In addition, peace of mind brings happiness if people will have social support, Freedom to choice and faith in the system.
Norway Tops the Global Happiness Rankings for 2017
As per World Happiness Report 2017, Norway has jumped from 4th in 2016 to 1st position in 2017, followed by Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland in a tightly packed bunch. All of the top four countries rank highly on all the main factors found to support happiness – care, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. Their averages are so close that small changes can re-order the rankings from year to year. Norway moves to the top of the ranking despite weaker oil prices.
India’s happiness rank with neighboring countries:
India is far below in ranking in World Happiness Report from when compared with its neighbors like China, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan. The graph clearly shows that the Chinese are happier than any other neighboring country. However, India comes at the bottom in term of happiness in comparison with its neighboring countries.
The report has been edited by John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs, who believe that happiness is increasingly considered the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy.