The World Happiness Report 2022 ranked India 136th — tenth from the bottom of the list.
Ahead of the UN International Day of Happiness, observed on March 20, the World Happiness Report 2022 was released listing Finland as the happiest country in the world. The top spots belong to all the well developed western countries, while the underdeveloped find their place at the bottom of the ranking list.
The report, which is in its tenth year, uses global survey data to report on how people evaluate their own lives, besides economic and social parameters. The rankings are based on average data of a three-year period of 2019-2021. The World Happiness Report released its first report in 2012 and from 2013 onwards (where it ranked 111 out of 130 countries), India has been falling in ranks with each passing year. India’s rank has deteriorated over the years. Starting with rank 111 in 2013, it has consistently been going down and was a dismal 139 in the 2021 report – a dip of 25%. In terms of intangible criteria such as happiness, laughter and enjoyment, India is better than most neighbouring countries. However, in terms of sadness, worry and anger, it stands at the worst footing. These results indicate that people are generally more negative in India and that India represents a diverse group of people.
Although India improved its position in the list compared to last year, it ranks lower than its neighbours such as China, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. In the last eight years, India lost 28 spots in the Happiness Ranking, whereas some of its neighbours like Nepal improved by 48 places, Sri Lanka by 8 and Bangladesh by 7. Pakistan is 34 spots higher than India in WHR 2021.
Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Israel and New Zealand figure among the top ten in the list of 146 nations. Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania made the biggest gains in this year’s rankings, while Lebanon, Venezuela and Afghanistan saw the biggest fall in their rankings. Meanwhile, India’s low ranking on the World Happiness Report 2022 was avidly discussed by social-media.
In the World Happiness Report 2022, special attention was given to specific daily emotions (the components of positive and negative affect) to better track how COVID-19 has altered different aspects of life. Even though India has been one of the fastest developing countries, the happiness score has worsened year by year. Amid the pandemic, happiness has become more elusive than ever. Covid has also taught us how to value immaterial aspects more than anything and the true purpose of a country. These findings suggest that the country needs to focus on intangible aspects and happiness during these challenging times.