HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Delhi sulks, Mumbai smiles

Arnab Mitra, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, January 17, 2013
First Published: 22:42 IST(17/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:57 IST(18/1/2013)

Here's more proof that India is, indeed, a happy nation. The index score for "level of happiness with your overall leisure, entertainment and social life" is 754. But like all averages, it hides as much it reveals.

The first Hindustan Times-MaRS Happiness Survey, the most exhaustive and definitive such study ever undertaken in India, shows that Delhi residents rank last on the happiness scale when it comes to leisure. Their opinion: their happiness on this score is "under strain".

Among metro residents, Mumbaikars are, perhaps a little surprisingly, the happiest with their leisure time and social life.

Mumbai's index score (787) on this parameter means the residents of the Maximum City are "somewhat happy", but significantly, it is only marginally short of an unequivocal "happy rating".

Interestingly, respondents in three age categories (26-35 years, 36-45 years and 46-60 years) rate themselves as "somewhat happy" and give themselves almost the same index score on this count.

The young (18-25 years) are, relatively, the happiest with their social life and senior citizens the least so.

For the purpose of this survey, we interviewed respondents on "level of happiness with quality of leisure time and activities for self", "level of happiness with quality of time spent with family" and "level of happiness with quality of time spent with friends" and arrived at the index score by calculating a weighted average of these scores.

On each of these parameters, Delhiites gave themselves a "happiness under strain" rating.

As in almost every other aspect of this survey, the smaller state capitals score over the metros.

Residents of Lucknow, Jaipur, Indore, Patna and Ahmedabad are the happiest with their leisure activities, both in relative and absolute terms.

Residents of each of these cities say quite unambiguously that they are "happy" on this count.

Despite significant differences of opinion between cities, it is interesting to note that there is a near unanimity of views across age groups.

This reinforces the findings that despite the obvious problems, a vast majority of Indians are actually quite happy with their lot.

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