Bhutan slips further on happiness ladder

World Happiness Report 2015
World Happiness Report 2015

In the span of nine years, Bhutan slipped by 71 positions in the list of world’s happiest country. This probably should be a cause of concern for the propagators of the happiness index.

In 2006 when Adrian White, analytic social psychologist at Britain’s University of Leicester, published his first World Map of Happiness, he placed Bhutan to the the eighth happiest country in the world and first in Asia.

Nine years later, John F. Helleiwell, Richard Layard and Jeffrey Sachs, sponsored by the United Nations, publish world happiness report 2015 where Bhutan is placed to be 79th happiest country in the world.

Switzerland took the top spot in the 2015 World Happiness Report, which ranks 158 countries.

Switzerland is trailed by Iceland, Denmark and Norway. All four countries scored between 7.5 and 7.6 out of 10 for well-being, and the differences in the scores are not statistically significant, the researchers found. Rounding out the top 10 happiest countries are Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia, all of which scored 7.2 or higher.

The U.N. happiness report, published every year since 2012, shows that happiness and well-being are critical indicators of a country’s economic and social development, according to a statement from the United Nations.

“The aspiration of society is the flourishing of its members,” Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, said in a statement. “This report gives evidence on how to achieve societal well-being. It’s not by money alone, but also by fairness,honesty,trust and good health. The evidence here will be useful to all countries as they pursue the new sustainable development goals.”

UN has been publishing happiness report since 2012 backed by the UN General Assembly resolution in 2011 proposed by then Prime Minister of Bhutan Jigmi Thinley, inviting member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies.

Since his loss in 2013 general election, Thinley has remained silent about the GNH and its campaign. The movement of GNH in absence of Thinley, is almost dead on part of Bhutan.

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