World Happiness Report 2023


    In News

    • Recently, the 11th edition of the World Happiness Report was released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

    World Happiness Report

    • Published ever since 2012 by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
    • The World Happiness Report is based on two key ideas:
      • Happiness or life evaluation measured through opinion surveys, and 
      • Identifying key elements that determine well-being including levels of GDP, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, across countries.
    • The report usually ranks 150 countries based on several factors such as real GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perceptions of corruption.
    • Every year, each variable measures a populated-weighted average score on a scale of 0-10 that is tracked over a period of time and further compared with other countries.

    Key Outcomes of the Report

    • Top Performers:
      • Finland continues to be the happiest country around the world for the sixth consecutive year, while Nordic countries like Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden among others, dominated the top spots on the list with the exception of Israel which is placed fourth on the index.
    • Worst Performers:
      • The unhappiest countries include Taliban-ruled Afghanistan — ranked last — with Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo joining it at the bottom of the index.
      • War-scarred Afghanistan, which has occupied the bottom spot on the table since 2020, saw its humanitarian crisis deepen since the Taliban government took power in 2021 following the US-led military pull-out.
    • India & its neighbors:
      • India’s rank in the World Happiness Report improved from 136 in 2022 to 126 this year, the country is placed far below its neighbours like Sri Lanka (63), China (74) and Pakistan (108), among others.
    • Rising resilience around the world:
      • Between 2020 and 2022, the world saw a ‘remarkable’ rise in resilience, the SDSN’s report stated. Two crucial events impacted the world during this period — the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 
      • According to the report, global citizens became increasingly benevolent during this time of crisis and built stronger social connections.
      • Data showed that “benevolent acts” were 25 percent more common around the world in 2022 than before the pandemic.

    What Does a Happiness Report Signify?

    • Through the report, the UN-funded non-profit aims to explore questions such as the kind of behaviour needed to experience happiness, the link between benevolence and happiness during the Covid-19 pandemic, state functioning’s impact on individual happiness and more by analysing six key factors: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make choices, generosity and perception of corruption.
    • The happiness movement shows that well-being is not a ‘soft’ and ‘vague’ idea but rather focuses on areas of life of critical importance: material conditions, mental and physical wealth, personal virtues, and good citizenship.

    International Happiness Day

    • Observed on: 20th March every year, resolution passed by UN in 2012.
    • Theme 2023: Be Mindful. Be Grateful. Be Kind
    • Aim: Importance of happiness in people’s lives.
    • Background: Resolution initiated by Bhutan & Gross National Happiness (GNH) over Gross National Product (GNP) was adopted.
    • Happiness economics is a study that analyses relationships between individual satisfaction & economic issues.

    Source: TH