Qataris are happier than citizens from developed countries of Europe and Asia, but despite enjoying the highest per capita income in the world (PPP terms), the wealthy citizens of the energy-rich Gulf state are surprisingly less happy than Emiratis and Omanis, according to the recently launched World Happiness Report 2013.
Qatar rank 27th in the list of 156 countries surveyed for the United Nation’s Happiness Report, much ahead of some of the world’s most developed countries such as Singapore (30th), Spain (38th) Japan (43rd) and Italy (45th).
However, Emirates and Oman, whose per capita income is much lower than that of Qatar, ranked at 14th and 23rd positions, thus, proving the fact that economic prosperity or financial wealth is a poor measure of one’s social well-being.
The US (17th position), the world’s richest economy, for instance is less happy than Mexico, while Kuwait (32nd) and Saudi Arabia (33rd) are much happier than Iraq (105th) and Iran (115th).
The Middle East has by and large shown a greater dip (-0.637) in the happiness quotient between 2005-07 and 2010-12, while Latin America and Caribbean (+0.435) have witnessed highest rise in the happiness index during the same period.
According to the report, European countries such as Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden, are the top five countries.
Evidently all the happiness is somehow seems to be concentrated in the northern Europe. And residents of Benin and Togo are the least happy people in the world.
The happiness report evaluates nations on basis of six key factors that determine well-being such as GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity.
“The word ‘happiness’ is not used lightly. Happiness is an aspiration of every human being, and can also be a measure of social progress,” the report said.
It invited member countries to measure the happiness of their people and use this to help guide public policies accordingly.
The report highlighted that mental illness is the single most important cause of unhappiness, but is largely ignored by policy makers.
The report also noted that some of the world leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and British Prime Minister David Cameron, are talking about the importance of well-being as a guide for their nations and the world.
Follow us on our social media channels: