1st All India Happiness Report-2020 | Happiest smaller states Mizoram, Sikkim and Arunachal  Pradesh

  • Punjab atop major states

By Pradeep Kumar

ITANAGAR, Sept 19: The first All India Happiness Report (AIHR)-2020, covering all states and union territories measuring happiness across the country, what contributes to people’s happiness, the impact of COVID-19 on happiness and insights from thought leaders, was released on Friday.

The study is based on a nationwide survey covering 16,950 people between March and July last by Prof Rajesh K Pillania.

Mizoram, Punjab and Andaman & Nicobar Islands topped in overall happiness ranking of states and UTs; Punjab, Gujarat & Telangana among the big states; Mizoram, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh among smaller states while Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Puducherry & Lakshadweep among the UTs.

COVID-19 had worst possible impacts on happiness: Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana have shown the worst possible impact of COVID-19 on happiness; Puducherry and Jammu & Kashmir were neutral while Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep have shown the best possible impact of COVID-19 on happiness.

The 10 states that scored poorly are Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Nagaland, Rajasthan, Goa, Meghalaya, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh with 27 to 36 ranks respectively.

The results of this study suggest that marital status, age group, education and earnings have a positive correlation with happiness. Married people are happier than unmarried people. The study also showed that what effects did COVID-19 have on people’s happiness?

Harvard Business School assistant Prof Dr. Ashley Williams explains that people who give more importance to time than money are happier. COVID-19 has had the greatest impact on the happiness of people of Maharashtra, Delhi and Haryana.

Renowned Institute of Stanford science director Dr. Imma Seppala, in concluding remark, said that kind and patient people are the happiest and prosperous.

According to the study, the people of the country are optimistic about the future and are looking at themselves more happy and prosperous than the present situation in the next five years. Manipur, Andaman-Nicobar Islands and Gujarat are likely to be the happiest states in future happiness rankings while Gujarat, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh would be at the top among big states.

The Happiness Index is based on five  parameters – Work related issues, like income and growth; family relations and friendship; physical and mental health; social issues and philanthropy and religion or spiritual engagement.

Interestingly, Bhutan King Jigme Singye Wangchuk had coined Gross National Happiness in 1979, saying “it is more important than Gross National Product”, a concept developed during 1970s. The GNH is prepared from 33 indicators  under nine domains using robust multidimensional methodology, known as Alkire-Foster method. It was incorporated in the tiny nation’s constitution on 18.07.08 and Bhutan earned the sobriquet “Kingdom of Happiness”.

The UN General Assembly in 2011 passed a Resolution “Happiness: towards a holistic approach to development” urging member nations to follow the example of Bhutan, measure happiness and well-being by calling happiness a “fundamental human goal.”

In 2012, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Jigme Thinley and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had convened a high level meeting on ‘Well-being and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm’ to popularize   Bhutan’s GNH philosophy that drew glrobal attention. This led to develop and release first World Happiness Report (WHR) and declaration of March 20 as International Day of Happiness, proposed by  Bhutan in 2012, by adopting resolution 66/28.

However, the WHR, a landmark survey of state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries as how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. It takes into account measures, like  GDP, social support, personal freedom and levels of corruption to give each nation a happiness score. Its 2020 report released on March 20 ranked India at 140, dropped from 140. The report includes the Gallup World Poll.  (With agency inputs)

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