World Happiness Report
To celebrate the International Day of Happiness on March 20, 2016, political leaders of the kingdom of Bhutan emphasized Happiness and Well-Being as a new economic paradigm and urged the countries of the world to unite the three pillars of sustainable development that define Gross Global Happiness. These include social, economic and environmental well-being.
Simultaneously, the 2016 World Happiness Index (WHI) was released. WHI is a comprehensive global happiness report that recognizes the importance of happiness and well-being as universal goals in the lives of people around the world. This year’s winner is Denmark followed by Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. The United States ranked number 13, with Germany and the UK lagging behind.
The index is based on a number of factors including GDP (gross domestic product), which is one of the primary indicators used to measure the health of a country’s economy. GDP represents the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period. The researchers also evaluated happiness on the following criterion: life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and corruption. The projected utility of the happiness index is to assist the nations of the world in gauging their readiness to pursue the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (i.e., improving the quality of healthcare and education, gender equality and bringing an end to poverty and world hunger).
For natural and organic products manufacturers seeking international trade and commerce, WHI may be useful to assess prospective markets and support sustainable business development. Increased happiness has also been correlated with better health, increased immunity, less stress, improved heart health, reduced pain and increased longevity, suggesting that the world’s happiest countries may also be some of the world’s healthiest.
Simi Summer, Ph.D. is an organic advocate, independent researcher, educator, and freelance writer. She is a strong proponent of organic consumer education and informed consumer choices.
NOTE: The opinions expressed in bylined articles are not necessarily those of the publisher.
Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 3/22/2016