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Money surely can't buy you happiness

India ranks higher than US or UK in the happiness index, Yojana Sharma finds out more. What makes you happy?

india Updated: Jul 26, 2006 13:12 IST

If the more, the merrier is your funda for life then think again. Good things in life may not always make you happy. Seems like your nanny’s preaching? Think again, we are talking about statistics that prove the same.

A random survey done by a website happyplanetindex.org reveals that India stands at 62 rank in the happiness index, while prosperous nations like UK and USA are at 108 and 150 position, respectively. In simple terms, an average Indian feels much satisfied and happy with his life than a Briton or an American.

Happyplanetindex.org is patronised by London based New Economics Foundation (NEF). NEF is an independent body that monitors the relationship of economic activities with individual well-being, happiness and health.

Top five countries in 

happiness index:



1 Vanuatu

2 Colombia

3 Costa Rica

4 Dominica

5 Panama

The happiness index is a measure of life span, life expectancy and ecological efficiency of an individual. It also relates an individual to nature. It takes into account how close individuals are to their ecology and how much they care for their environment.




There’s a mathematical formula to calculate it:



Happiness Index =  Life satisfaction x Life expectancy 

      


 

           

                        _____________________________


 

                                      Ecological Footprint

Sounds complicated but it isn’t. The index simply checks how good you feel about various things around you. It also checks if national GDPs are related to an individual's happiness in any manner.

What is surprising is that small countries, particularly the ones which are low in the economic index, are in the top league of this survey. Vanuatu tops this happiness index. Before you open the world map to check where Vanuatu is, let us tell you that it is an archipelago in the Pacific.

Where the biggies stand in the index:



62  India

81  Germany

95  Japan

108 United Kingdom

111 Canada

129 France

131 Singapore 

150 USA

172 Russia

Other notable surprises are Sri Lanka (15) and the Philippines (17). Even South Asian nations like Bangladesh (41) and Nepal (57) have a better happiness index than India.

When Trinidad and Tobago and Malta rank higher than India, US and UK in the happiness index, we are forced to think if opulence is related to happiness in any way.

Does this also indicate that wealth has nothing to do with happiness? Seems so. Most of the countries that have a high GDP (say USA, UK, Germany, etc) rank lower in this index. One logic could be life is really competitive in the progressive economies. A person has to make many choices for betterment. Hence, people there may feel depressed or frustrated.  

The life expectancy rate of the top five countries in this index is better than the rest of the so-called developed or developing nations.

So next time you feel deprived of good (read expensive) things in life, think again. You may be the happiest of the lot in reality.

(For detailed list, please visithttp://www.happyplanetindex.org/list.htm)