The 2015 edition of the World Happiness Report is out. Congratulations to the people of Switzerland, for being the happiest nation on the globe. Switzerland jumped from third to first place.
A very pleasant surprise is Bahrain, which jumped from 79th place to 49th. A very respectable jump indeed.
Happiness (personal, corporate, community, and country) is almost an obsession of mine, and I’ve been taking a keen interest in the World Happiness Report since I’ve first heard of it. It was first published in 2012. In it “ Leading experts across fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. The reports review the state of happiness in the world today and show how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness. They reflect a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as a criteria for government policy.”
According to the latest report:
“Three-quarters of the differences among countries, and also among regions, are accounted for by differences in six key variables, each of which digs into a different aspect of life. The six factors are GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble), trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business), perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity (as measured by recent donations, adjusted for differences in income). Differences in social support, incomes and healthy life expectancy are the three most important factors, with their relative importance depending on the comparison group chosen.”
So What Are The Happiest Countries in The World?
Here they are, the cream of the crop:
9. New Zealand
All of them advanced democracies with a strong social bent. As mentioned, Bahrain jumped to 49th place. Not a stellar standing, but still an increase of 30 places, and it does place us in the top third. Something we can be proud of, but not content with.
What can this jump be attributed to? Well, the report does not go into detail about Bahrain, but I can offer some guesses. First, the severity of the crisis has lessened. It is by no means over, but it’s not as severe as when the first Happiness Report came out.
Second, some of the reforms might be working. Reforms, like many things in Bahrain, are a very controversial matter, and whether they are working or not depends a lot on who you happen to be asking. But the numbers don’t lie, we’ve jumped 30 places, and I’m sure that at least part of the reason for that is reforms.
Finally, Bahrainis are just good-natured people. We are known to be the friendliest people in the Arabian Gulf, and we appreciate and enjoy spending time with our friends and family, and that makes us happy.
We deserve a pat on the back, but at the same time we should not stand still. We must continue with reforms that make people’s lives better and happier.
You Should Play Your Part
When I say “reform” I don’t mean the government only. Societal improvement and betterment is everyone’s responsibility. We should never stand around waiting for things to happen. If there is something that you think is not right in our society, ask yourself how you can play a part in improving it.
Collective happiness is our collective responsibility. Do your bit!
Thanks for reading and talk soon.