Pakistan outranks India and Bangladesh on Happiness Index

By Dr. Usman Shakoor

Over the last few years, we have all become thoughtful with regards to Pakistan’s economic condition even though every passing day has made life tough for the common man. Multifaceted economic conditions were run into society in the form of price hikes, devaluation of local currency, lack of foreign investments among others.

Regardless of these economic burdens and having poor economic statistics to demonstrate at international mediums, it is surprising to see Pakistan climbing up the GHI (Global Happiness Index) every year. Pakistan was ranked 92 in the year 2016 and now has a ranking of 67, despite having never been able to show its economic wellbeing through other indicators like GDP.

Pakistan’s GDP per capita stood at approximately 1500 US dollars in 2018 while having an average growth rate of 5.5 percent over the last few years. Surprisingly, India which is a more stable and managed economy, with an income per capita of 2000 US dollars, has a rank of 140 in the GHI ranking. India has lost 7 points in the global ranking to the previous year where it stood at 133. Bangladesh ranks 125 and is known to have a better economic environment as compared to Pakistan. 

So the question arises: what are the factors which make India lag behind in happiness despite the good economic statistics? Considering where the GHI is being developed, key factors that were identified were the physiological well-being of individuals, human goals, community vitality, generosity and trust.

Though Pakistan doesn’t tend to savor much on economic advantages, the country performs better with the points mentioned above. This status clearly brings into the spiritual context towards ranking someone’s happiness. This says that having less and being more satisfied clearly takes advantages over having more and feeling less satisfied. In most part of its definition it erases the materialistic features of a good and adds an attribute of spirituality, while maximizing utilities or satisfactions one drives from consuming that good. So, it concludes that it is not the magnitude or quantity of the good that matters but it’s the quality of the good the matters.

In other words, it could be easily said that GHI clearly describes your positivity and eagerness where a minute of positive ingenuity is cherished, where people always carry good responses towards the betterment of society and the nation, and where community is more important than individual goals.

This does not amaze me as a writer that we are far ahead of our neighbors in these aspects. As a nation, it is truly commendable that in new dimensions of ranking with dynamic world scenarios Pakistan has achieved a good ranking regarding the positivity and happiness that prevails in society. The story doesn’t end here, what is needed now is to compare the GHI with the 66 nations ahead of Pakistan. Pakistan needs to be on the list of those countries who outshine in both traditional and modern well-being indicators.

The opinions in this article are of the writer and do not represent the views of The Weekly Pakistan.

The writer is a freelance contributor. He can be reached at usman.shakoor@comsats.edu.pk

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