In line with International Day of Happiness on March 20, the newest edition of the World Happiness Report was just recently released.
The World Happiness Report is an annual publication that ranks countries according to their levels of happiness and is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012 to promote sustainable development.
The report measures happiness based on a range of factors, including economic prosperity, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perceptions of corruption.
The data used to rank countries comes from various sources, including the Gallup World Poll, World Values Survey, and other national surveys. The rankings are based on the average scores of the past three years of available data.
In the top tier
The World Happiness Report does have some limitations. For instance, it relies heavily on self-reported data, which may not always be accurate or reliable.
Additionally, the report may not capture the full range of experiences and perspectives of different groups within a country, such as marginalised communities or those experiencing poverty. Finally, the report may not take into account cultural or societal differences that may impact how people perceive and report their levels of happiness and well-being.
Based on the 2023 World Happiness Report, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was ranked 26st out of 149 countries in terms of happiness levels. The UAE has consistently ranked among the top 25 happiest countries in the world since the first report was published in 2012.
According to the World Happiness Report, happiness is a subjective experience that reflects a person’s overall satisfaction with their life. It is not just about feeling good in the moment, but also about having a sense of purpose, meaning, and fulfilment in life.
Happiness is influenced by a range of factors, including social and economic conditions, as well as individual characteristics and behaviours. Measuring happiness is important because it provides valuable information about the well-being of individuals and societies.
From a country’s perspective, a high level of happiness among its citizens can have numerous benefits, including better health outcomes and stronger social cohesion.
Studies have shown that people who are happier are more creative and innovative, which can lead to new ideas and solutions that can boost a country’s productivity and competitiveness. Happier employees are more productive and engaged at work, which can lead to higher job performance and better economic outcomes for a country.
Happier people are better equipped to handle stress and adversity, which can lead to greater resilience and better outcomes during times of crisis or uncertainty. Happiness can also be a measure of a country’s success and progress, beyond just economic indicators such as GDP.
The World Happiness Report is intended to provide policymakers, academics, and the general public with insights into the factors that contribute to happiness and well-being around the world.
The report also aims to encourage countries to prioritise policies that promote happiness and well-being, as well as to monitor progress towards achieving these goals over time.
By tracking changes in happiness over time, policymakers can identify areas where improvements are needed and develop policies that promote happiness and well-being. This can lead to better outcomes in areas such as health, education, and social cohesion.
A robust and diverse economy
The UAE’s high ranking can be attributed to several factors, including its strong economy, high levels of social support, and high life expectancy. The country has a robust and diverse economy, with a high per capita income and a relatively low level of income inequality.
The UAE also has a strong social support system, with high levels of trust in the government and institutions, as well as strong family and community ties. Additionally, the country has a high life expectancy, with access to quality health care and a strong focus on health and wellness.
The UAE has also implemented policies aimed at promoting happiness and well-being, such as the creation of a Ministry of Happiness and Well-being in 2016, which aims to promote happiness and well-being in all areas of government policy.
The government has also launched initiatives to promote physical activity and healthy lifestyles, as well as programs aimed at promoting social inclusion and community engagement.
Dr. Kristian Alexander is a Senior Fellow and the Director of International Security & Terrorism Program at TRENDS Research and Advisory (Abu Dhabi), as well as the Head of the Strategic Studies Department.