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Don?t worry, be happy in India

india Updated: Nov 21, 2006 14:22 IST

Young people in developing countries like India are at least twice as likely to feel happy about their lives than their richer counterparts, a survey says. And while Indians are the happiest overall, the Japanese are the most miserable.

According to an MTV Networks International (MTVNI) global survey that covered more than 5,400 young people in 14 countries, only 43 per cent of the world's 16- to 34-year-olds say they are happy with their lives.

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Revealing facts

MTV survey covered 5400 people in 14 countries

India topped the chart followed by Sweden. Japanese are the most miserable.

Concern over jobs, pressure to succeed are reasons for unhappiness in the developed countries

Happier young people are also the most religious


NI said this figure was dragged down by young people in the developed world, including those in Britain and the United States where fewer than 30 per cent of young people said they were happy with the way things were. Only eight per cent in Japan said they were happy.

Reasons for unhappiness across the developed world included a lack of optimism, concern over jobs and pressure to succeed. In developing countries, a majority in the same age group expected their lives to be more enjoyable in the future, led by China with 84 per cent.

"The happier young people of the developing world are also the most religious," it said. The MTVNI survey took six months to complete and resulted in the Wellbeing Index which compared the feelings of young people, based on their perceptions of how they feel about safety, where they fit into society and how they see their future.

Young people from Argentina and South Africa came joint top in the list of how happy they were at 75 per cent. The overall Wellbeing Index was more mixed between rich and poor. India came top followed by Sweden and Brazil came last. "In developing countries, economic growth is on the go ... so you could see that logically there should be optimism and a positive feeling," Bill Roedy, the president of MTVNI, said.

Developed countries were pessimistic about globalisation, with 95 per cent of young Germans thinking it is ruining their culture, while developing countries which tended to be more receptive to it.

The 14 countries included in the survey were Argentina, Brazil, China, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, the UK and the US.