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International Day of Happiness 2023: India ranks behind its neighbours in World Happiness Index

Updated on: 20 March,2023 03:33 PM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Urbanisation, congested cities, rising pollution, cost of health care, and rise in crimes against women and minorities are some prominent reasons that lead to unhappiness among Indians

International Day of Happiness 2023: India ranks behind its neighbours in World Happiness Index

India is in the 136th position on the World Happiness Index. It is the fourth least happy country in the world. Photo Courtesy: iStock

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives. There is hardly anyone today who is stress-free and it majorly impedes happiness in our lives. Challenging careers, cutthroat competition, familial issues, health complications, inflation, and many other factors cost us our happiness. As of 2022, out of 146 countries, India is in the 136th position on the World Happiness Index. It is the fourth least happy country in the world. In the neighbouring countries, India has the lowest happiness score behind Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

What is the World Happiness Index?

It is a report prepared and published by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) that records people’s qualitative assessment of their lives, progress and well-being. The report is prepared to encourage governments of different nations to carry out constructive conversations about the importance of happiness in the lives of everyone.

What are the parameters used to determine the happiness of every country?

There are some key parameters used for assessment which include the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), social support, health life expectancy at birth, generosity, the form of government in the country, people’s perception of corruption and freedom to make life choices.

Which are the top 5 countries on the World Happiness Index? 

Finland has been ranking first for the past 5 consecutive years. Followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands. The last in rank is Afghanistan. As per a report, western countries are happier when compared to South Asian nations.

Why does India rank so low?

There are many reasons for India’s “chronic unhappiness”.  The rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer. Rapid urbanisation, increased congestion in the cities, rise in pollution, the rising cost of health care, rise in crime against women and minorities, etc. are some prominent factors leading to unhappiness among Indians.

India has a low score when it comes to ‘GDP per capita’, ‘Social Support’ and ‘Health Life expectancy’. The prime reason for this is the rise in the country’s population. Further, it is disappointing to know that in a country where we take great pride in social and family values, India scored low on social support.

On the positive side though, our score for “Freedom to make life choices” is remarkable.

What needs to change in India?

To improve the GDP per capita, social support and healthy life expectancy, there is a need to bring about institutional changes for which both the citizens and the government needs to work together. India also needs to strengthen its social support by making our family and friends feel extremely supported. The country should strive for sustainable development and focus on social, environmental and financial development.

This International Day of Happiness 2023, it is necessary to take note of where we stand on the World Happiness Index and take steps to bring about an improvement.

Read More: International Day of Happiness 2023: Be happy and make people around you happy 

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