Home/ News / World/  India's rank in happiness survey lower than war-torn Ukraine, Russia. Here's why

World Happiness Day is celebrated on 20 March, for the past ten years. A publication by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, has released a report on which are the most and the least happiest nations in the world. 

In a list of 146 countries, India has ranked 125, improving nine positions from what it had ranked in 2022.  However, India did rank significantly lower than even war torn countries Russia and Ukraine. India even lags behind its neighbouring nations like Nepal, China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. 

The World Happiness Report rankings based largely on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll, revealed that even though Russia and Ukraine has been in a war like situation for more than a year now, happiness, wellness and benevolence did not take a hit. 

Global happiness has not taken a hit in the three years of the Covid-19 pandemic. Life evaluations from 2020 to 2022 have been “remarkably resilient," the report says, with global averages basically in line with the three years preceding the pandemic.

“Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness," John Helliwell, one of the authors of the World Happiness Report said in a news release.

Fastest growing economy, yet unhappy India

Notably, India ranked lower than Iraq, which has ben ridden with anti-government protests, Bangladesh, a small Asian delta nation and India's neighbour, and even Sri Lanka and Pakistan. India may be one of the fastest growing economies of the world, but it is among the least happiest countries.

According to the report, the happiness quotient was measured by asking a nationally-representative sample of people how satisfied they are with their lives these days.

"A population will only experience high levels of overall life satisfaction if its people are also pro-social, healthy, and prosperous. In other words, its people must have high levels of what Aristotle called ‘eudaimonia’", the report reveals. 

For countries to rank higher, the report considered health, especially mental health, assumes even more priority, as does the quality of work, family life, and community.

Further the report also looked at governments' zeal to eliminate misery for the citizen by establishing rights such as those in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).  They should also broaden the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to consider wellbeing and environmental policy dimensions jointly in order to ensure the happiness of future generations.

The report shows that India had the highest number of lonely people among seven countries including- United States, Brazil, Egypt, France Indonesia and Mexico. 

India also recorded the lowest use of social media platforms (31%) among emerging economies and developing countries, whereas Leabnon stood highest at 85%. According to the report this indicated a lower interaction among the residents of the country, consequentially dipping in the the happiness quotient. 

Russia and Ukraine rank better. . .

Although well-being in Ukraine had definitely taken a hit, but “despite the magnitude of suffering and damage in Ukraine, life evaluations in September 2022 remained higher than in the aftermath of the 2014 annexation, supported now by a stronger sense of common purpose, benevolence, and trust in Ukrainian leadership," the report says.

Confidence in their governments grew in both countries in 2022, the survey says, “but much more in Ukraine than in Russia." And Ukrainian support for the leadership in Russia fell to zero.

In this year’s rankings, Russia Republic is 70 and Ukraine is 92.


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Updated: 20 Mar 2023, 08:02 PM IST
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