IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


23rd March, 2024 International Relations


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/health/the-great-indian-unhappiness-what-a-new-report-says-about-indias-young-and-old/article67971075.ece 

Context: In the World Happiness Report 2024, Finland retained its position at the top of the list for the seventh consecutive year. India ranked 126th in the global happiness rankings.

Key Highlights of the 2024 Report

  • The World Happiness Report takes into account six variables; GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption.
  • Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, and Israel made up the top five.
  • India ranked 126th while China ranked 60th, Nepal at 93, Pakistan at 108, Myanmar at 118, Sri Lanka at 128 and Bangladesh at 129th spots.
  • The report found that in India, older age is related with higher life satisfaction. Older Indian women expressed poorer life satisfaction compared to older men. Education and caste were important factors, with older persons with secondary or higher education and those from higher social castes expressing higher life satisfaction than those without formal education or from scheduled castes and tribes, according to the Report.
  • According to the report, women were less satisfied than males in every region, and the gender difference widened as they grew older.
  • The report also analysed happiness levels in different age groups. Lithuania, Israel, Serbia, Iceland, and Denmark were the top five countries for happiness in young people (aged 30 and below), while Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland were the top countries for happiness in older people (aged 60 and above).

World Happiness Report

  • The report emerged from a UN resolution aimed at measuring the happiness of people worldwide and guiding public policy. It was first released in 2012 ahead of a UN High-Level Meeting on Well-being and Happiness. Since then, it has been published annually.
  • Each annual report ranks countries based on happiness levels. The data for rankings is drawn primarily from the Gallup World Poll, which covers various aspects of life, including business, health, education, and social issues.
  • The report released by the Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford starts in 2024. The report had previously been released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a United Nations global initiative.


  • The report relies on data gathered by Gallup, Inc., through a globally conducted happiness measurement survey. Respondents rate their own lives on a scale from 0 to 10.
  • The report correlates life evaluation results with various life factors, using variables reflective of determinants that explain national-level differences in life evaluations.
  • The use of subjective well-being measurements allows respondents to evaluate their own well-being, providing a bottom-up approach to assessing happiness.


  • Starting from 2021, the report advocated for WELLBYs (Well-Being-Adjusted Life-Years) as a measure to assess the well-being of individuals and future generations.
  • Policy-makers are encouraged to maximize WELLBYs for all individuals, considering both current and future generations.


  • The World Happiness Report serves as a comprehensive assessment of global happiness levels, providing valuable insights into factors that contribute to well-being and guiding policymakers towards promoting happier societies.


Q. Which organization published the World Happiness Report 2024?

A. United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network

B. Wellbeing Research Centre at the University of Oxford

C. World Bank

D. International Day of Happiness Committee

Answer: B