W Power 2024

Finland is the world's happiest country. Where does India rank?

The recently released World Happiness Report 2024 shows the world's largest nations like US and Germany falling out of the top 20 for the first time in over a decade

Samidha Jain
Published: Mar 20, 2024 03:41:40 PM IST
Updated: Mar 20, 2024 03:59:55 PM IST

Finland is the world's happiest country. Where does India rank? The report underscores a pattern where younger generations generally feel greater levels of happiness when compared to older age demographics. Image: Shutterstock

No medicine cures what happiness cannot,” Gabriel García Márquez, the Colombian novelist, had once said. Finns seem to be taking it too seriously. In a UN-sponsored report which lists down the happiest countries in the world, Finland is on the top for the year 2023, ending up in pole position for the seventh time. It is followed by Denmark and Iceland. An interesting observation of the World Happiness Report 2024 is that the happiest countries no longer include any of the globe's largest nations. Among the top 10, only the Netherlands and Australia have populations exceeding 15 million. According to this year’s report, the US and Germany have fallen out of the top 20 happiest nations for the first time in over a decade, now positioned at 23rd and 24th place, respectively.

Top 10 happiest countries in the world (2021-23)

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Iceland
  4. Sweden
  5. Israel
  6. Netherlands
  7. Norway
  8. Luxembourg
  9. Switzerland
  10. Australia

As per the report, the happiness ranking is determined by people's self-assessed assessments of life satisfaction, alongside considerations like GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption levels.

The latest report also underscores a pattern where younger generations tend to generally feel greater levels of happiness when compared to older age demographics, except in North America, Australia, and New Zealand where happiness among the youth has declined since 2006-2010.

Also read: Want to meet happy Europeans? You won't find them in capital cities

As per the report, significant shifts in happiness levels have been noted since 2006-2010, with Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Jordan witnessing considerable declines, whereas Eastern European nations such as Serbia, Bulgaria, and Latvia have registered noteworthy increases. For the past couple of years, Afghanistan has remained at the bottom of the list and continues to occupy the lowest position among the 143 surveyed countries, grappling with persistent humanitarian crises following the Taliban's resurgence to power in 2020.

Where does India rank?

India ranks at #126, same as last year. India stands as the world's second-largest nation in terms of its elderly population, with 140 million individuals aged 60 and above, following closely behind China. The report highlighted that older men in India, especially those in higher age groups, currently married, and those with an education, tend to express higher levels of life satisfaction compared to others. Dissatisfaction with living conditions, perceived discrimination, and poor self-rated health are factors associated with lower life satisfaction among older Indians. As per the report, elderly women in India typically indicate higher life satisfaction levels than men, even though they confront more stressors and health-related obstacles.

Also read: What is the price of happiness?

Whereas India ranks #126 on the World Happiness Report, another report released today by global market research company Ipsos highlights that in 2023, 72 percent Indians claimed to be happy, with the top contributors to their happiness being family (73%) and health (68%).

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