The reports aim is to encourage governments to measure and improve their people's happiness.
GN Bureau | April 24, 2015
India is one of the unhappiest countries in the world. It ranks 117 out of the 158 countries in the third World Happiness Report.
People who live in the happiest countries have longer life expectancies and more social support, experience more generosity, have more freedom to make life choices, have lower perceptions of corruption and have a higher gross domestic product per capita, the report shows.
The World Happiness Report 2015, released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on Friday, considers six variables—per capita gross domestic product (GDP), healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, generosity and the absence of corruption—to reach the score given on a scale 0 to 10, where 0 represents the worst possible life.
The top country in the list is Switzerland with a score of 7.587; India is at 4.565. March 20 is declared as World Happiness Day. It was Bhutans’s prime minister, who proposed the idea of a World Happiness Day to the United Nations in 2011.
Through the happiness report, the network hopes to encourage governments at every level to measure and improve their people's happiness.
"There is no single key to happiness," said Jeffrey Sachs, the network's director and an economics professor at Columbia University. "All of these countries do well in several ways. Being rich? That's good, but it's only a modest part of the story. Trusting society, having a government that ranks on low in corruption, a society where people are generous and volunteering -- all of these are important for happiness."
About 80% in younger age groups feel happy and women enjoy themselves more when they are below the age of 40.
Women have higher life evaluations than men in five of the eight global regions, including South Asia, but the freedom to make life choices for them is the lowest in South Asia.
Reported anger is significantly higher in the Middle East and North Africa at about 35%. The next highest incidence of anger is in South Asia, at an average rate of about 25% for both men and women.
The top 10 happiest places on Earth: 1 Switzerland, 2 Iceland, 3 Denmark, 4 Norway, 5 Canada, 6 Finland, 7 Netherlands (Holland), 8 Sweden, 9 New Zealand and 10 Australia.
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