World Happiness Report 2022


  • For the fifth consecutive year, Finland secured the top spot in the World Happiness Report 2022.

Key Findings of World Happiness Report 2022

  • Denmark secured the second spot, followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands and Luxemburg. Lebanon and Afghanistan ranked the lowest.

    World Happiness Report 2022
    Photo Credit: AFP
  • India with its position marginally improving to 136th rank as against last year’s 139 among 146 countries.
  • Among the South Asian nations, only Taliban-ruled Afghanistan fared worse than India.
  • Afghanistan was named the most unhappy country in the world, ranking last on the index. Nepal (84), Bangladesh (94), Pakistan (121) and Sri Lanka (127) managed to get better ranks in the list.
  • Bangladesh has improved its ranking by seven notches on the WHI from 101 last year to 94 in 2022 out of 146 countries included in the report.
  • Separately, global benevolence, the report states, increased 25% in 2021 compared to its pre-pandemic level. This was led by helping out strangers, alongside strong growth in donations and volunteering.
  • The top ten countries with the largest gains from 2008-12 to 2019-2021 were, in order, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Togo, Bahrain, Latvia, Benin, Guinea and Armenia. 
  • On an average, the latest report states, there has been a long-term moderate upward trend in stress, worry, and sadness in most countries and a slight long-term decline in the enjoyment of life.
  • Separately, it observed experiences of balance, peace and calm are more prevalent in Western countries as compared to countries in East Asia.
  • Further, the western countries also experience higher levels of satisfaction. Irrespective, majority of people in almost every country prefer a calmer life to an exciting one, the report mentions.

Back to Basics

What is the World Happiness Report?

  • As per its website, The World Happiness Report, a publication of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), uses survey data to determine how people evaluate their lives in more than 150 countries. In simpler terms, the report presents a framework gauging people’s qualitative assessment of their lives, progress and well-being through quantitative indicators.
  • The report aspires to prioritise discussions on happiness among governments and academics for assessment and establishment of social and economic objectives.
  • United Nations (U.N.) adopted Resolution 65/309 titled “Happiness: Towards a holistic approach to development” in July 2011.
  • The U.N. General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/281 proclaiming March 20 as the International Day of Happiness to be observed annually.
  • The World Happiness Report is released every year on the same date. 
  • Bhutan has a self-devised Gross National Happiness Index that assess happiness and well-being of the population using 33 indicators under 9 domains.  

The methodology

  • The rankings (called the World Happiness Index) use both secondary and survey data in order to formulate the ranking.
  • The ranking is done on a three-year average based on surveys of ‘Life Evaluation’ conducted by Gallup World Poll which surveys around 1000 people from each country to evaluate their current life on a scale of 0-10.
  • On this scale, 10 marks the best possible and 0 as the worst possible life.
  • The parameters for assessment include GDP per capita in terms of Purchasing Power parity (PPP), healthy life expectancy at birth, level of social support, generosity, perceptions on corruption and freedom to make life choices.
  • Life expectancy and GDP per capita are computed from ready-made data of the World Bank and World Health Organisation (WHO) respectively.  


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