inbriefpopulation | VOL. 13, ISSUE 80, September-October 2013 |

Are we Happy?

For all of you who are not really ecstatic about how wonderful India is, here are the facts that prove you just right. The second annual World Happiness Report 2013 is out and India stands at the super low rank of 111 with a score of 4.772 on a scale of 1 to 10 . The global happiness ranking list registered what we knew already—the declining quality of life in India. Interestingly, India ranks much after Pakistan (81) and Bangladesh (108). So what is it that is bothering us, is it the gloomy state of the economy or the pervasive corruption in public life? Between 2005-07 and 2010-12, Indians showed a decrease in happiness just as the rest of South Asia has—mapping a dip in the happiness quotient.

The report based on data from all available years of the Gallup World Poll, mainly 2005 to 2011, measures happiness and well-being in countries around the world to help guide public policy. The Gallup World Poll provides the most comparable data for a large group of countries, typically interviewing 1,000 respondents per country in each survey year on how people rate both their emotions and their lives as a whole. The measures are divided into three main types: measures of positive emotions (positive affect) including happiness, usually asked about the day preceding the survey; measures of negative emotions (negative affect) again asked about the preceding day; and evaluations of life as a whole. Together, these three types of reports constitute the primary measures of subjective well-being. Denmark stands in the first spot with a score of 7.693, ousting last year’s winner Iceland. Denmark is followed by Norway, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Austria, Iceland and Australia in the top 10 positions, respectively. The West African country of Togo stumbled in as the globe’s least happy country with a score of 2.936.

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