World Happiness Index 2020 and How India Ranks

World Happiness Report

Survey of world happiness index 2020 was conducted by Gallup World Poll where six more factors were taken into consideration and India was ranked poorly compared to the previous survey.

The survey to establish ranks of the countries of the world on World Happiness Index uses Gallup World Poll. Here the level of GDP, the life expectancy of citizens of a country, social conditions and support, level of corruption, freedom for the citizens, sustainable development and so on are taken into consideration. Also, the happiness of people in urban and rural India has been taken into consideration. 

The report of world happiness index 2020 has been released by sustainable development solutions network. It has been found that Finland has once again come to the top of the chart. Finland is the happiest country in the world. On the World Happiness Index 2020; India ranks near the bottom of the list which is a dismal performance for the nation. Finland has beaten Denmark and Switzerland. 

World Happiness Report: What it is?

World happiness index report is a global survey on the happiness of people of the countries of the world where there are 156 countries which are ranked based on subjective well-being. It explores the depths of social, urban and environmental factors that affect our happiness.

How the survey is conducted?

The most important basis of this survey is Gallup world Poll, though there are other sets of data that are analyzed. Gallup evaluates life through its poll and that is the basis to form the happiness rankings among the countries of the world. Survey has evinced interest and people want to know how their country fares in the world stage. They are also curious to know how a country ranks at the top of the list in terms of overall happiness of people and what key elements add to the quality of the rankings. They want to know if there is any secret of happiness enjoyed by people of countries.

The theme of happiness report this year has been the environment, society, urban and natural dimensions. Following is the list of top 20 happiest countries of the world:

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Switzerland
  4. Iceland
  5. Norway
  6. Netherlands
  7. Sweden
  8. New Zealand
  9. Austria
  10.  Luxembourg
  11. Canada
  12. Australia
  13. United Kingdom
  14. Israel
  15. Costa Rica
  16. Ireland
  17. Germany
  18. United States
  19. Czech Republic
  20. Belgium

The UNO has released yearly World Happiness Report that goes according to the UN’s annual International Day of Happiness on March 20, 2020. This report shows Finland as the topper of the list which shows this is the happiest country of the world. It has retained this position for the third consecutive year. The survey of world happiness, that has the offshoot in World Happiness Index 2020, has shown how happy the citizens of countries perceive themselves to be. The survey factors in the social environment, the happiness of people in towns and rural areas, and the relationship between happiness and sustainable development. In the backdrop of the present pandemic, it has been all the more crucial to measure the perceived happiness of people as to how safe they feel being a citizen amid global pandemic, the social and political support, level of health and income despite the odds brought about by the crisis. Earlier studies were done after natural calamities such as floods, famine, tsunami, and economic meltdown, etc. and it was surveyed post-crisis how the people felt the level of rescue were, the support from the authorities, health support system, getting back on the job that was lost due to economic downturn, etc.

People are happy and it’s a pleasant surprise for them when they find how helpful the neighbors have been, how cooperative the community was to rebuild and relocate, etc. The study has found that there is a greater degree of cooperation and feelings towards one another. Happiness level goes up when citizens perceive positively about the job environment, societal conditions, law and order, and governance despite disasters. Afghanistan is the un-happiest of all the nations of the world. It is followed by Sudan. Unfortunately, India has joined the league of bottom ten of the very unhappy countries. It has been a steady fall of India since 2017 when the last survey was undertaken.

This is the eighth world happiness report whose basis has been happiness and wellbeing and a few measures of social and economic development. The preparation of the first happiness report was done in the Earth Institute of Columbia University. The recent base for the report has been the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).

Data Source for the Report

A wide variety of data has been used to prepare the report but the most significant one has been the Gallup World Poll which is a collection of its surveys all across the world, hence with a great deal of authenticity. The evaluations from these Gallup surveys have provided support for the annual happiness rankings. Onward from 2020, Gallup will continue to be a full data partner. The importance of Gallup’s surveys has been recognized unanimously. The authors of the report have been quite experienced and knowledgeable and these have contributed to the quality of the report.

The data partners of Gallup has been sustainable development solutions network or SDSN, the centre for sustainable development at Columbia University, the centre for economic performance at Vancouver School of Economics and the Wellbeing research centre of Oxford.