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World Happiness Report:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Important International institutions.



India may be one of the fastest growing economies of the world, but it is among the least happy countries.

  • Ahead of the UN International Day of Happiness, observed on March 20, the World Happiness Report 2022 ranked India 136th — tenth from the bottom of the list.

The World Happiness Report:

The World Happiness Report is a publication of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network powered by the Gallup World Poll data.

  • 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.
  • World Happiness Report evaluates levels of happiness by taking into account factors such as GDP, social support, personal freedom, and levels of corruption in each nation.

Highlights of the report:

  1. Finland topped the list for the fifth time in a row, according to the 10th edition of the World Happiness Report.
  2. Finland was followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
  3. Among other western countries, while the United States managed to bag the 16th position, Britain was ranked 17th and France 20th.
  4. India continued to fare poorly in the world happiness index, with its position marginally improving to 136 as against last year’s 139.
  5. Among the South Asian nations, only Taliban-ruled Afghanistan fared worse than India.
  6. Afghanistan was named the most unhappy country in the world, ranking last on the index of 146 countries.
  7. Nepal (84), Bangladesh (94), Pakistan (121) and Sri Lanka (127) managed to get better ranks in the list.
  8. The Happiness report also stated that India was one among the countries that witnessed, over the past 10 years, a fall in life evaluations by more than a full point on the 0 to 10 scale.


  • Over the years, happiness has become a key metric to track for not just countries but corporates as well.
  • The goal behind the report is to identify key determinants of well-being.
  • This information is expected to help countries to craft policies aimed at achieving happier societies.


Interconnections between law, governance and happiness: Why do these connections matter?

  • Happiness has come to be accepted as a goal of public policy. And this discourse has given a fillip to a new narrative where the interconnections between law, governance and happiness are being searched.
  • Experiences from several nations confirm that the countries with higher GDP and higher per capita income are not necessarily the happiest countries and there exists a link between the state of happiness and rule of law.


The WHRs, over the years, confirmed that people tend to have:

  • Poor mental health.
  • A low score of subjective well-being.
  • Poor perception about the governance and law and order, despite high income levels.



Prelims Link:

  1. Rankings of India and neighbours.
  2. Rankings in the previous edition.
  3. WHR vs GNH- similarities and differences.
  4. Top and bottom performers this year.
  5. Consistent performers.

Mains Link:

What is World Happiness Report? How are the countries ranked in this report? Discuss.

Sources: the Hindu.