How is Dystopia connected to World Happiness Report?« Back to Questions List

The World Happiness Report is an assessment of the state of universal happiness. Dystopia, by definition, is a community or a group of people or a place that is terrifying or unwanted. 

Happiness is a difficult term to define as it varies from individual to individual. Though being happy generally means having enough money, it is much more than money. It is a state of mind. Being healthy, able to take care of oneself, express freely and having supportive family and friends, opportunities for quality education and equal opportunity to flourish are different parameters that define the happiness of a society. 

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With these objectives in mind, in July 2011, UN General Assembly passed a resolution encouraging members to assess the happiness of their population. The study was envisaged to be used in policy decisions to make the world more happy and prosperous.  The World Happiness Report is an assessment of happiness published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network of United Nations. Till the UN initiative, Bhutan was the only country that had gross national happiness as the main development indicator instead of gross domestic product.

The first World Happiness Report was published on 1 April 2012. It outlined the level of world happiness and the reasons of happiness and misery. The report gained international attention. Thereafter, the report is being published every year and the report is available on the World Happiness Report website for public viewing. 

Data required for the report is collected from people in more than 155 countries. The parameters assessed include real GDP per capita, generosity, healthy life expectancy, caring, honesty, social support, freedom to make life choices, good governance and perceptions of corruption. These variables are measured on a scale running from 0 to 10. These parameters are tracked over time and compared against data collected from other countries. Each country is also compared against Dystopia, an imaginary nation. Dystopia represents the lowest national averages for each key parameter. 

The report published on 20 March, 2017 is the latest. It is the fifth one in the series. The report has named Norway as the world’s happiest country, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland. 155 countries were surveyed this time. 

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