Hello friends! The 2021 World Happiness Report by the United Nations has said that India ranks in terms of happiness 139 out of 149 countries. It means that India is the eleventh worst country in terms of happiness. It also means that even in Pakistan, people are happier than in India. You heard it right. Pakistan is a happier country than India now. It’s the limit! It’s the limit! It’s the limit! Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! Wow. Maintain some decency! I’m out of my mind. Let us debate! But seriously friends, how accurate is this report?
Actually, can anyone even measure a thing like happiness? Especially at the level of a country. Are the people asked how happy they feel and a survey is conducted? Let’s find out in today’s video. Many politicians and experts around the world believe that it is more important to measure the happiness of the citizens than to measure the GDP of the country. Because GDP is only an economic indicator. It does not tell you how happy the citizens of the country actually are. And GDP can increase because of several irrelevant reasons also. For example, if the road in front of your house gets damaged every year and it’s repaired every year, then the GDP will grow more than if a good road was built once which did not need to be repaired for 10 years. Similarly, when a country goes to war with another country more weapons will be created and new factories will be set up for the weapons. It also increases the GDP but going to a war is not a good thing for the country or its citizens. This does have a term.Broken Window Fallacy. You break a window and call someone to repair it. That worker gets employment and money is circulated as well the GDP would also increase. This is the Broken Window Fallacy. It does not help the country. It may be the reason why our former President Pranab Mukherjee said that happiness is no less important than GDP. The next question to arise is how is happiness calculated? For this reason, a report is published every year by United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It is called the World Happiness Report. Come let’s see how they measure happiness in this report and how the countries are compared. This report, basically, has six criterias on the basis of which a country’s happiness is calculated and is compared with the happiness of other countries. The six criteria are: GDP Per Capita; Healthy Life Expectancy;Social Support; Freedom to Make Life Choices;Generosity; and Perception of Corruption. Of the six, the first two criteria are such on which hard data is available. We all know the GDP per capita of a country; it can be easily calculated. Its data is available mathematically. Similarly, for healthy life expectancy, the clear cut data on the average life expectancy of the citizens is available with the World Health Organisation.
The first two criteria are judged on the basis of data. The remaining four are judged on the basis of a survey. A sample size of people is taken and they’re asked questions. On basis of this, they are rated. So what exactly are the questions asked in the survey?
Let’s check them out one by one. In the criteria of social support, it is asked: If you were in a difficult situation, can you trust your relatives, family, and friends? To help you when you need it? You don’t have to answer this in a Yes or a No. You have to rate it on a scale of 0 to 10. 0 represents that you don’t trust your friends and family to help you and 10 would mean that you trust them 100% that your family and friends would definitely come to your rescue. The scale of 0 to 10 is called the Cantrill Life Ladder. Where 10 is the best possible life for you. And 0 is the worst possible life. This question is asked to nearly 1000-3000 people in a country this is their sample size: 1000 to 3000, in a specific country The survey is conducted by the Gallup World Poll Agency. The next criteria is the Freedom to Make Life Choices. The question asked is here is In your life, how much freedom do you have? Can you choose the career path that you want? Can you eat what you want to eat? Can you wear what you want to wear? Can you follow the religion you want? Do you have freedom in all these aspects of common life? In the next criteria of Generosity, the question is In the past month, have donated to any charity? It is a very interesting question because only a person who is happy with his life would donate money to someone else. Several scientific researches have repeatedly pointed out that when a person helps another, gives them happiness the person gets happier too. The last criteria is Corruption Perception. It is a very straightforward question. How widespread do you think corruption is within your government and businesses? Two questions are asked in this criteria and the average of both of them is calculated. This is how the happiness of a country is calculated. Two criteria are based on data and four where people are asked and surveyed. A country is scored in each of these criteria and the average score of these is the final score of the country. It is somewhere between 0-8. With 8 being the highest score and 0 the lowest. There is a seventh criterion as well which is defined as a dystopia. But to understand this we’ll have to delve into mathematics. But let’s not do that lest this video becomes too long. In the 2021 report, the happiest country was Finland which scored 7.842. And the least happy country is Afghanistan whose score is calculated to be 2.523. India scored 3.819, it is a terrible score because of this India’s rank is 139 out of 149 countries. If you compare it with the scores of the past few years, India’s score and the rank, both have been deteriorating rapidly.
In 2015 India rank 117 out of 158 countries with a score of 4.565. In 2016-17, we ranked 122 of 155 countries and scored 4.315. It fell a little. In 2018, 133 of 156 countries and scored 4.190. In 2019, the rank became 140 out of 156 countries. And in 2021 the rank went further down. In comparison to 2015, the score fell from 4.565 to 3.819. What’s shocking, is that all the neighbouring countries, have started performing better. Pakistan ranked 105, Bangladesh 101, China 84 and Nepal ranks 87. In this report, past data of the countries have been compared as well. The difference between the happiness levels of 2005-2008 and 2016-2018 India was the fourth worst country in this because of the falling rank. The absolute worst country in this was Venezuela and it’s understandable because of the economic situation for the last 10 years. Preceded by Syria, understandably, Botswana and India. Preceding India is Yemen, which again, is a country going through war. This report shows us some very shocking things. Why is it that India’s rank is rapidly falling? Let’s try to understand it later in the article. Before that let’s see which country is at the top and which country’s rank improved the most. The happiest countries in the world are Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. Nicaragua, Bulgaria and Latvia are the countries that have shown the most improvements in their scores and rankings in the last 10 years. In the same report friends, you can see the criteria wise comparison as well. Which countries topped each criterion and which were at the bottom? If you see India’s rank for each criterion, You’d see that India is terrible in Social Support But in Freedom, Corruption, and Generosity, India didn’t perform as bad. But do remember that these questions are answered based on the perception of people What people feel, their opinion on that issue can be influenced by a lot of things. Their environment, their thinking, and the conditions prevailing in the country. The two fact-based criteria; the GDP per capita and the healthy life expectancy, the countries with the top ranks are very obvious. In the GDP per capita criteria, countries like Qatar and Luxembourg top the charts which have one of the highest GDP per person. It was expected. In healthy life expectancy, countries like Singapore are at the top. It too was expected. But for the four survey based categories, if you check the individual ranking of these, you’d understand what I mean to say. For example, in the criteria of Generosity, Myanmar is at the top. Is Myanmar a country where people donate the most? It is doubtful. But is Myanmar a country where people believe that they donate the most? It is possible. Similarly, in Perception of Corruption criteria, the worst countries are Bulgaria and Romania. I agree that the corruption level in these European countries is high but if you compare it with the countries around the world do Bulgaria and Romania really have the highest corruption? Are these countries the worst in terms of corruption? I would not believe anyone claiming this. But if you ask the citizens of Romania and Bulgaria, they compare themselves to the other countries in Western Europe that are highly developed. Then the corruption in their country, in their opinion, would seem very high.
Similarly, in the question of Social Support, India got one of the worst ranks does that mean that India is a country where people don’t take care of each other? I don’t believe this. While answering the question, people might have compare themselves with ideals. They do not get the level of support that they expect which is why they gave a lower score. Or maybe, in the neighbouring countries, people feel, that people are more helpful and Indians do not have that brotherhood and families do not help each other. So people gave such ratings. The same logic holds true the other way as well.
If India ranks high in terms of freedom, the citizens believe that they have relatively more freedom because maybe they haven’t seen more freedom. So the people give a good score for their life and corruption But maybe, if India’s neighbouring country were highly developed India might have scored even lower in some things. These are some of the limitations of this report in my opinion. The other reports, like the one of the Freedom House, on which I made a article as well, I’d consider them more accurate than this report if comparing the two. Because it was based on hard data and facts and this is based on the subjective happiness of the people. People are questioned and it is based on their perception. But it does not mean that this report is absolutely useless. I’d say that this report needs to be used in the correct sense. A person’s happiness should be seen in a subjective manner only. One of the best use of this report may be that we can compare the score of the happiness of India to one of the past years. Because when a country’s score is compared to its own the other variable factors remain the same. And in it, it is clearly evident that India’s score has been falling in the past few years. This means that people have been feeling that corruption has been increasing. People aren’t as generous. Do not have the freedom they used to. These are a few things worth considering. To measure happiness, the World Happiness Report is not the only indicator. The beginning of measuring happiness started in Bhutan. In 1972, the king of Bhutan had famously said that Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product. For this reason, in 2008, Bhutan added the goal of happiness in its Constitution as well. Bhutan has inspired not only the United Nations, but even in Delhi, when the Delhi government started the happiness curriculum in Delhi’s government schools, they gave its credit to Bhutan. I hope you found this article informative.
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Thank you, Stay safe and healthy !😊