The annual report based on the Gallup World Poll, measures subjective well-being by relying on three main indicators: life evaluations, positive emotions, and negative emotions.
Out of the 149 countries evaluated, India ranks at 139 in the World Happiness Report 2021, which has been collated slightly differently due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in 2020. This annual report by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, measures subjective well-being of people and communities by relying on three main indicators: life evaluations, positive emotions and negative emotions.
The Gallup World Poll, which remains the principal source of data for the report, asked people to evaluate their current life using the image of a ladder, with the best possible life for them as a 10 and worst possible as a 0. According to the report, life evaluations provide the most informative measure for international comparisons because they capture the quality of life “in a more complete and stable way than emotional reports based on daily experiences.”
Positive emotions have been captured in the report by asking respondents whether they smiled or laughed a lot the previous day. An affirmative response is coded as a 1 while a negative response is coded as 0 and the average response is calculated for each person, with values ranging from 0 and 1. On the other hand, negative emotions are measured by asking them whether they experienced specific negative emotions a lot on the same day.
“Negative affect, for each person, is given by the average of their yes or no answers about three emotions: worry, sadness, and anger. National averages are created in the same way as for positive affect,” the report reads.
Finland has defended its title of the world’s happiest country in the overall rankings for the 4th year and according to the report, “remained very similar to last year.” The other countries that scored high on the rankings include Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and the Netherlands. The United States has been ranked 19, five spots behind Canada, while people in Afghanistan remained the least happy.
In the previous year’s World Happiness Report, India was ranked 144 out of 156 countries surveyed. But this year’s rankings exclude countries where the survey was not carried out or where the sample sizes were smaller, compared to the three-year averages usually used.
The only ten countries behind India on World Happiness Report 2021 rankings are Burundi, Yemen, Tanzania, Haiti, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Afghanistan.
The top 20 ranked countries in the World Happiness Report 2021:
5. The Netherlands
9. New Zealand
16. Costa Rica
17. United Kingdom
18. The Czech Republic
19. United States