I know that the topic of discussion in this post is not specifically related to technology but I was convinced that it impacts the productivity and development in any country in many ways and hence I thought of sharing it with the readers of Digital Qatar blog. So in this context, as residents of Qatar, you ought to feel some element of elation knowing that you live in a relatively “happy” country.
Surely you want to know what determines whether a country is “happy” or not. The verdict comes packed in a comprehensive World Happiness Report, published annually by the United Nations General Assembly. The second report measures happiness and well-being in countries around the world to help guide public policy.
You can see the list of all of 156 countries included in the report but we’ll definitely tell you the top of the list – Denmark topped the list of the happiest nations toppling last year’s champion Iceland (it’s funny that last year Iceland was the happiest country and this year it slipped way down to number 9, but that is beyond the concern of our discussion). In second place is Norway, followed by Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
I know you must be waiting to find out Qatar’s ranking. Without further ado, let me tell you – Qatar is ranked 27th in the index. Not bad. Not bad at all especially when you note the countries that are ranked below our nation – Singapore is ranked 30, Kuwait is at 32, Saudi Arabia is at 33, tech-savvy South Korea is at 41, Japan at 43, and Italy is at 45. Not bad at all, don’t you agree?
What about our neighbors? Well, UAE is ranked 14th and Oman is 23rd. As for the rest of the countries, I am not going to list all of them but just to mention some more United States is 17 (it’s a big jump for them from being 23rd), United Kingdom is ranked 22, Philippines is 92, India is at 111, Egypt at 130 and Sri Lanka is at 137.
If some of you are rolling your eyes and wondering “what’s the big deal?”, well, the report explains that these rankings matter because happiness helps people live longer, have more productive lives, earn higher wages, and be better citizens in general.
The World Happiness Report ranks countries based on six key factors that contribute to well-being, including GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.
The idea of World Happiness Report was conceptualized as a “contribution to the crucial policy debate” about the objectives of public policy and what should be the world’s Sustainable Development Goals for the period 2015-2030. At the time when the first Report was published, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Guidelines followed soon after setting an international standard for the measurement of well-being.
To conclude on a philosophical note, notwithstanding your individual level of happiness, take a moment to reflect upon the “blessings” you need and already have, rather than fret about the “blessings and rewards” you want, and you may indeed become happier.