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84% Urban Indians Happy; India Ranks 4th In Happiness Among 32 Countries: Survey

The top 3 happiest markets emerging were China (91 per cent), Saudi Arabia (86 per cent) and Netherlands (85 per cent)

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At least 84 per cent of the citizens polled claimed to be happy, according to Ipsos Global Happiness Survey that captures Life Satisfaction Across the World.  India ranked fourth overall in the rankings, with 84 per cent of its population professing to be pleased, according to the survey, which found that the majority of people interviewed around the world (73 per cent) are satisfied.

The top 3 happiest markets emerging were China (91 per cent), Saudi Arabia (86 per cent) and Netherlands (85 per cent).

Happiness by countries

Commenting on the findings of the survey, Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India said, “Today (March 20th) is the International Day of Happiness.  India is among the top happiest markets with at least 8 in 10 urban Indians claiming to be happy. Happiness is a holistic sentiment and not dependent on one happy external event. It runs much deeper, is what the survey is telling us about citizens who are the happiest. India was able to surmount the pandemic with mass vaccination considering we are highly populous; fuel crisis, we were able to negotiate with Russia and the global community, easing the pressure on the citizens. All this is also manifesting into happiness. Because when times were gloomy during the pandemic, happiness levels had dropped to 66 per cent in 2020. We saw a major recovery in 2021. And now in 2023, we once again see further improvement in happiness levels. Happiness infusing list is much longer than one would anticipate.” 

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The chart above shows shifts in happiness levels by markets.  

Multitude of factors provide Life Satisfaction & drive happiness - relationships, education,  spirituality, being loved and appreciated, social status

Indians credit a plethora of factors for adding satisfaction to life and in turn making them happy.  These factors interestingly contribute together as they have all received high scores. The top ranked areas were: my children (86 per cent), relationship with relatives (85 per cent), exercise and physical activity (85 per cent), relationship with partner or spouse (84 per cent),  access to, in touch with nature (84 per cent), level of education, religious faith/ spiritual life (84 per cent), feeling appreciated (84 per cent), looks (83 per cent) access to entertainment/ leisure activities (83 per cent), access to news/ information (82 per cent), co-workers (82 per cent), feeling loved (82 per cent), feeling in control of my life (81 per cent), mental health & wellbeing (81), material possessions (81 per cent), social status (80 per cent). Notably, China and India are similar as opposed to other global markets, where happiness also hinges on how the country is doing. Satisfaction is life also depends upon country’s economic situation (China 78 per cent, India 78 per cent), and country’s social and political situation (China 83 per cent; India (72 per cent).

“Indians are happy because of a multitude of collective attributes that bring harmony in relationship, social status, acknowledgement and wellbeing. Personal relationships shared with family and friends, keeping abreast of news and information, sound education, appreciation and love, access to entertainment, being close to nature, spirituality, and vanity (looks), employment, material possessions and even the economic and social health of the country,” added Adarkar.

For global citizens the biggest contributors in adding satisfaction to life, according to them were: My children (if a parent) (85 per cent), relationship with partner/spouse (if has one) (84 per cent), access to/ in touch with nature (80 per cent), level of education (80 per cent) relationship with relatives (78 per cent),   friends (78 per cent),  access to news/ information (77 per cent), co-workers (if employed) (77 per cent), feeling loved (76 per cent), feeling free to do and say what I want (76 per cent), personal safety and security (75 per cent) access to entertainment/leisure activities (75 per centl job (if employed) (74 per cent), religious faith or spiritual life (74 per cent) living conditions (74 per cent), amount of free time (74 per cent), Looks (73 per cent), feeling in control of my life (73 per cent), feeling my life has meaning (73 per cent), feeling appreciated (73 per cent). 

Challenging experiences can impact happiness
72 per cent of global citizens and 68 per cent of urban Indians said they have one or several close friends they rely on to help them in case of need.  1 in 2 urban Indians (50 per cent) and 39 per cent of global citizens polled also said that they recently experienced a deeply disturbing and distressing event that has prevented them from feeling good about their life. 47 per cent Indians and 37 per cent global citizens also said they recently faced or were facing a difficult personal situation that they could not have resolved by themselves. 

Consumer confidence as a measure of happiness

Another key finding from this study is that, at the country-level, levels of happiness tend to reflect levels of consumer sentiment. Ipsos compared the percentage of happy adults and Ipsos’s Consumer Confidence Index across the 22 countries where both were measured in the same survey and found they are highly correlated. The Consumer Confidence Index tracks people’s sentiment about their financial situation, their ability to make purchases and investments, and perceptions of their local economy, job security and future opportunities.

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