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An index of happiness

Study says India is the 125th happiest country

London: India is the 125th happiest country in the world, a world map of happiness prepared by a British scientist claimed on Friday. Denmark is the happiest country in the world and Burundi in Africa is the most unhappy as per the map produced by Adrian White, Analytic Social Psychologist at the University of Leicester.

According to the study, happiness is found to be most closely associated with health, followed by wealth and education.

China, in the 82nd position, is happier than India; Japan is placed 90.

"We were surprised to see countries in Asia scoring so low, with China 82nd, Japan 90th and India 125th. These are countries that are thought as having a strong sense of collective identity which other researchers have associated with well-being," a University of Leicester release said.

"It is also notable that many of the largest countries in terms of population do quite badly. With China 82nd, India 125th and Russia 167th it is interesting to note that larger populations are not associated with happy countries," it said.

Switzerland, Austria and Iceland follow Denmark. The map places the U.S. at 23, the U.K. at 41 and France at 62.

The study is based on data from 178 countries and on the findings of over 100 different studies around the world, which involved 80,000 people. Participants were asked questions related to happiness and satisfaction with life.

Mr. White analysed data published by UNESCO, the Central Intelligence Agency and the World Health Organisation among others to create a global project of subjective well-being: the first world map of happiness.

The projection, which is to be published in a psychology journal this September, will be presented at a conference later this year.

Mr. White said: "The concept of happiness, or satisfaction with life, is currently a major area of research in economics and psychology, most closely associated with new developments in positive psychology. It has also become a feature in the current political discourse in the U.K."

He added: "There is increasing political interest in using measures of happiness as a national indicator in conjunction with measures of wealth. A recent BBC survey found that 81 per cent of the population think the Government should focus on making us happier rather than wealthier.

Further analysis showed that a nation's level of happiness was most closely associated with health.

PTI

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