Somalia: All you need to know why India lags Pakistan and Somalia on global happiness index

A look at how this index is calculated and the parameters that are taken into consideration to determine this quotient.

India’s quotient witnessed a fall as compared to last year, with its rank on a global happiness index falling to 118 among 157 nations. Denmark was ranked first on the index, according to the World Happiness Report 2016 Update.

The report reveals that India was among the group of 10 countries seeing the largest happiness declines along with Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and Botswana.

Interestingly, the country also lags behind nations like(92), (76), China (83), Iran (105), Palestinian Territories (108) and Bangladesh (110).

The findings of the report, released ahead of UN World Happiness Day on March 20, for the first time gives a special role to the measurement and consequences of inequality in the distribution of well-being among countries and regions.

So, how exactly is this index calculated? What are the parameters taken into consideration? Why do countries like Denmark and Switzerland score high? Business Standard tries to explore the answers to these questions.

Key Parameters

The index considers six key categories to calculate this index.

– GDP per capita

– Healthy years of life expectancy

–  Social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble)

– Trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business)

– Perceived freedom to make life decisions

– Generosity (as measured by recent donations)

Differences in social support, incomes and healthy life expectancy are the three most important factors, the report states. (link to be inserted)

Arriving at the numbers

About 3,000 respondents are considered as a sample in each of more than 150 countries.

This sample is asked to evaluate their current lives on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the worst possible life and 10 being the best.

Top-ranked nations

Countries like Denmark and Switzerland have scored high on a confidence scale.

Top four-ranked nations, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway, have an average confidence score of 7.5 and above.

Bhutan and the Gross Happiness

While the aims to bring in policy initiatives to boost happiness ratings in nations across the world, Bhutan, interestingly, has a domestic happiness index instead of a GDP model to build its economy.

Coined by Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck in the 1970s, the Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a single-number index developed from 33 indicators categorised under nine domains, its website explains.

It bases itself on four pillars of GNH philosophy

– Promotion of sustainable development

– Preservation and promotion of cultural values

– Conservation of the natural environment

– Establishment of good governance

How important is it for Bhutan?

The country formulates its five-year plans based on the findings of this report. In fact, all the proposed policies in Bhutan must pass a GNH review.