/Finding Happiness – India unhappiest country among its neighbours.

Finding Happiness – India unhappiest country among its neighbours.

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Finland is the happiest country in the world while India is all the way down behind Pakistan and Nepal, according to the World Happiness Report released on Wednesday. While Nepal and Bangladesh ranked 101st and 115th respectively, India stands at 133rd position in the list of 156 countries. As India slipped 11 places from 122nd in 2017, Pakistan moved 5 places up to be at 75th rank in the world happiness meter.

The report published every year is based on six factors : GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support, perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity. This year the main focus of the report, in addition to its usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, is on migration within and between countries. GDP per capita is in terms of Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) adjusted to constant 2011 international dollars, taken from the World Development Indicators (WDI) released by the World Bank. The time series of healthy life expectancy at birth are calculated based on data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Development Indicators (WDI), and statistics published in journal articles. Social support is measured by having someone to count on in times of business while generosity is measured by recent donations. Freedom to make life choices is the national average of responses to the GWP question “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?” Corruption Perception is the national average of the survey responses to two questions in the GWP: “Is corruption widespread throughout the government or not” and “Is corruption widespread within businesses or not?”

Finland, which was ranked 5th in 2017, displaced Norway to be the world’s happiest country. Norway dropped to 2nd position in the index. The United States, which was ranked 14th last year, dropped four places to be at 18th position, while the United Kingdom was ranked 20th respectively. The 2018 report is the sixth in the series and India’s performance has been deteriorating every year. India was ranked 118th in 2016, 122nd in 2017 and is now at 133rd. The country’s performance is the worst in SAARC with exception of war-torn Afghanistan which is ranked at 145th.

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India’s GDP growth has been affected by demonetisation and GST. This along with India’s huge population could be a factor for a low GDP per capita. India’s health is in shambles. 219 children died in one month at one hospital in Gorakhpur is an evidence of the poor state of medical facilities. Over 5 crore people in India suffer from depression- a major contributor to suicides. With bans being imposed on what to eat, what to watch or whom to marry , it is no surprise that we may have had poor score on the freedom to make life choices. People are becoming self-eccentric and lack of social support in times of crisis is a cause of unhappiness.

It seems Indians aren’t too happy afterall. May be the “ACCHE DIN” haven’t arrived just yet.