Saturday, July 29, 2006


India is the 125th happiest country in the world

PTI | July 28, 2006 | 11:08 IST

India is the 125th happiest country in the world, a British scientist who has prepared a world map of happiness has claimed.

Denmark is the happiest country in the world and Burundi in Africa is the most unhappy as per the map produced by Adrian White, Analytic Social Psychologist at the University of Leicester.

According to the study, happiness is found to be most closely associated with health, followed by wealth and education.

China is happier than India with an 82nd position while Japan is placed at 90.

'We were surprised to see countries in Asia scoring so low, with China 82nd, Japan 90th and India 125th. These are countries that are thought as having a strong sense of collective identity which other researchers have associated with well-being,' a University of Leicester release said.

'It is also notable that many of the largest countries in terms of population do quite badly. With China 82nd, India 125th and Russia 167th it is interesting to note that larger populations are not associated with happy countries,' it said.

Switzerland, Austria and Iceland follow Denmark in the map of happiness. It places United States at 23, UK at 41 and France at 62.

The study is based on data from 178 countries and on the findings of over 100 different studies around the world, which questioned 80,000 people. Participants were asked questions related to happiness and satisfaction with life.

White analysed data published by the CIA, UNESCO, WHO and the likes to create a global project of subjective well-being: the first world map of happiness.

The projection, which is to be published in a psychology journal this September, will be presented at a conference later this year.

Adrian White said: "The concept of happiness, or satisfaction with life, is currently a major area of research in economics and psychology, most closely associated with new developments in positive psychology. It has also become a feature in the current political discourse in the UK.

"There is increasing political interest in using measures of happiness as a national indicator in conjunction with measures of wealth. A recent BBC survey found that 81 per cent of the population think the government should focus on making us happier rather than wealthier.

"Further analysis showed that a nation's level of happiness was most closely associated with health levels (correlation of .62), followed by wealth (.52) and then provision of education (.51).

"There is a belief that capitalism leads to unhappy people. However, when people are asked if they are happy with their lives, people in countries with good healthcare, a higher GDP per capita, and access to education were much more likely to report being happy.

"The frustrations of modern life, and the anxieties of the age, seem to be much less significant compared to the health, financial and educational needs in other parts of the world. The current concern with happiness levels in the UK may well be a case of the 'worried well', the study said.


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