DISCUSSION Happiness: India tops league of major countries

by Yolanda Villafuerte _______25th February 2012
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by John Knights

A new poll conducted by global research company Ipsos for What Makes You Happy Magazine finds that the world is a happier place than in 2007, with two per cent more global citizens reporting that they are ‘very happy’. http://www.asianscientist.com/in-the-lab/ipsos-happiness-study-world-happier-place-2007/
Amongst the major global countries, India is top of the list, where 43% percentage of people consider themselves very happy compared to China, 19% and Russia only 8%. I would suggest this is because Indians are generally optimistic (the future look better than the past), have freedom of speech and are culturally very spiritual. Other large high growth economies also do well – Indonesia (51% – top of the list), Mexico (43%), Brazil and Turkey 30%.
The USA and Australia top the “western” industrialised world with 28%. However, the UK at 21% top the European rankings, ahead of Sweden 20%, followed by Germany (16%), France (15%), Italy (13%) and Spain (11%). But the UK is below Argentina at 23% and the world average of 22%.
Now this may all sound a bit flippant but the latest psychology and neuroscience research http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx and http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2010/03/training-your-brain-for-the-better-an-interview-with-rick-hanson-ph-d/ explains that happiness has a huge impact on productivity.
We know from our own research that at work people are happiest when they like their boss, are encouraged to continue to learn and develop, and are involved in the decisions that affect them.
British epidemiologist Richard Wilkinson’s research suggests that people are happier and healthier in societies and culture where there is less difference between the haves and have-nots. and other research. Other research suggests that once people earn £25000 or above, wealth has no impact on happiness.
Surely, real happiness is our most important life goal!
Which means growth and wealth are not!!

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