This emerging country ranks very, very low on the global happiness index

Image: Jeff Blackler/REX/Shutterstock

India is getting unhappier by the year.

It now ranks lowest in BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) emerging economies and second-lowest among SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) nations in the happiness index as revealed by the United Nations’ World Happiness Report 2017.

The 1.3-billion-strong country ranked 122 out of 155 countries, dropping four spots from a year ago. It is now ranked lower than even war-torn Iraq and terror-stricken Pakistan.

Despite being one of the largest economies in the world, a parameter of the index, India has slipped in the ranking for the third successive year. It was at 117th in 2015 and 118th in 2016.

According to last year’s report, India witnessed the steepest declines in happiness levels between 2005-07 and 2013-15. And this, despite its gross domestic product (GDP) growing faster than most developed countries of the world. (The World Happiness Report bases its data on six parameters: GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support, trust, freedom to make life decisions, and generosity.)

But why is India so unhappy?

WHR had outlined last year that India’s GDP numbers and other positives are offset by drops in social support, thus causing it to rank very low in the list.

Here are some possible reasons for India’s growing unhappiness.

One in five international cases of honor killing every year comes from India, according to the United Nations. In fact, India reported an inglorious 800 percent rise in honor killings last year.

The rate of malnutrition cases among children in India is almost five times more than in China and twice than in Sub-Saharan Africa, according to World Bank. Malnutrition is often dubbed as India’s ‘silent emergency’.

Over 35 million children in India are deprived of education and have to work as laborers, according to the 2011 Census. And there’s more.

Despite being one of the hottest investment destinations and among the fastest-growing markets for many global companies, especially in tech (Facebook, Uber, WhatsApp, etc.), India is unable to climb the ‘ease of doing business’ list.

Add to that, most Indians are tired and overworked in their jobs. India is also the fourth-most vacation-deprived country in the world.

Need we say more?

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