The World Happiness Report, released earlier this week, uses qualitative measures of subjective well-being to determine where the happiest people in the world live, how old there are, and what other socio-economic factors influence their lives.
The report is created by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, and authored by world leading economists (not to mention happiness’ cheerleaders) John Helliwell, Richard Layard and Jeff Sachs.
The research is worth spending some time digesting, as it contain a plethora of data on well-being and some very interesting methodological notes.
If we take a look at list of countries ranked by their happiness and compare these to the Global Peace Index rankings, we start to see some overlaps.
Happiness and peace are intertwined. They are both personal and political; they start in our hearts and go right the way up to the top of the UN agenda for global change.
In the pursuit of happiness, we face the same barriers and achieve the same goals as we do in the quest for peace.
For example, happy societies and peaceful societies tend to have similar attributes that span across social, political and environmental prosperity. Indeed the indices and datasets used to measure “happiness” (often referred to as well-being or progress) use similar indicators and metrics to what we use to measure peace, in particular, positive peace.
If we deconstruct what a peaceful society might look like, we find many of the building blocks of peace are the same as those needed for a happy society. Moreover, countries that are not peaceful, do not have the infrastructure required to become happy countries, and vice versa.
Find out more about happiness and peace.
Today the world celebrates the International Day of Happiness, a day to recognise the importance of happiness as an objective for all individuals and societies.
The United Nations tackled the ticklish issue of happiness in the second annual edition of the World Happiness Report
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