India ranks 13th in happiness globally: Ipsos Global Happiness 2020 Survey

China, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, France, Canada, Australia are world’s happiest markets; Peru, Chile, Spain, are least happy Meaningful life, physical wellbeing and meaningful employment are the top sources of happiness for urban Indians

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  • Madhurima Bhatia Media Relations and Content lead
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Ipsos global Happiness 2020 Survey has placed India 13th in the pecking order, among 27 markets covered in the survey. With at least 3 in 5 Indians (66%) saying, they are happy. Global citizens too are similarly placed, with 3 in 5 (63%) saying, they are happy.

Optimism among urban Indians and global citizens is steady, even when we have seen the most dreadful pandemic, which has been unsparing in taking away precious lives. It is heartening to see the happiness quotient not waning or plunging, despite the gloom,” says Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India.  

Happiest markets!

In the backdrop of the pandemic, which markets have emerged the happiest?

The happiest markets are: China (93%), Netherlands (81%), Saudi Arabia (80%), France (78%), Canada (78%), Australia (77%), Great Britain (76%), Sweden (74%), Germany (73%), Belgium (71%), United States (70%), Poland (68%) and India (66%).   

Interestingly, all these markets have been severely impacted by the pandemic, but have emerged stronger, counting their blessings and accessing happiness. They beat the odds!

Not so happy markets!  

The least happy ones were Peru (32%), Chile (35%), Spain (38%), Argentina (43%) and Hungary (45%).

All these markets are facing their worst economic crisis and recession, which is impacting the happiness quotient. Shutdown with lack of tourism has negatively impacted economies of all these markets.

Key sources of greatest happiness that infuse happiness in Indians

The survey probed citizens of different markets to understand cues that are fountains of happiness. The top 15 reasons that make Indians happy are realistic, goals led and not materialistic, and were: Feeling that my life has meaning (58%), my health/ physical wellbeing (57%), having a meaningful job/ employment (56%), my living conditions  of water, food, shelter (55%), my relationship with my partner/ spouse (54%), my children (54%), being recognized as a successful person (53%), my personal safety and security (52%), the wellbeing of my country (49%), my friends (49%), freedom to express my beliefs (48%), satisfaction with the direction my life is going in (46%), feeling in control of my life (46%), my hobbies/ interest (45%), having more money (45%), my religious or spiritual wellbeing (44%) and forgiving someone for something (43%).     

Top sources of greatest happiness globally

The greatest sources were: my health and physical wellbeing (55%), my relationship with my spouse/ partner (49%), my children (49%), feeling that my life has meaning (48%), my living conditions of water, food, shelter (45%), among others.

What makes the Chinese happy – sources of greatest happiness?

China - The happiness capital of the world - 93% per cent Chinese said they are happy – they too value the simple things in life!

My personal safety and security (42%), my health/ physical wellbeing (41%), my relationship with my partner/ spouse (39%), having more money (39%), my living conditions of water, food, shelter (38%), satisfaction with the direction my life is going in (37%), the state of the economy (37%), finding someone to be with (36%), feeling that my life has meaning (36%), among others.     

Health, employment, recognition, family ties, living conditions, finances, have a direct bearing on happiness, among Indians and across markets,” added Adarkar.   

About the Study

These are the findings of a 27-country Ipsos survey conducted July 24 - August 7, 2020 among 19,516 adults aged 18-74 in the United States, Canada, Malaysia, South Africa, and Turkey and 16-74 in 22 other countries, via Ipsos’s Global Advisor online survey platform.

Each country’s sample consists of 1000+ individuals in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland), France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United States, and 500+ individuals in Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, and Turkey.

The samples in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, and the United States can be taken as representative of these countries’ general adult population under the age of 75.

The samples in Brazil, Chile, China (mainland), India, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey are more urban, more educated, and/or more affluent than the general population. The survey results for these markets should be viewed as reflecting the views of the more “connected” segment of their population.

Prior fieldwork waves were also conducted on Ipsos’s Global Advisor online survey platform. The June 2019 wave was conducted May 24 - June 7, 2019 among 20,327 adults in 28 countries. The February 2018 wave was conducted January 26 - February 9, 2018 among 19,428 adults in 27 countries. The March 2017 wave was conducted February 17 - March 3, 2017 among 18,523 adults in 26 countries. The May 2013 wave was conducted May 7 - 21, 2013 among 18,513 adults in 25 countries. The December 2011 wave was conducted December 6 - 19, 2011 among 21,245 adults in 24 countries.

The data is weighted so that each market’s sample composition best reflects the demographic profile of the adult population according to the most recent census data.

Where results do not sum to 100 or the ‘difference’ appears to be +/-1 more/less than the actual, this may be due to rounding, multiple responses or the exclusion of don't knows or not stated responses.

The precision of Ipsos online polls are calculated using a credibility interval with a poll of N=1,000 accurate to +/- 3.5 percentage points and a poll of N=of 500 accurate to +/- 4.8 percentage points. For more information on the Ipsos use of credibility intervals, please visit the Ipsos website.

The publication of these findings abides by local rules and regulations.

The author(s)

  • Madhurima Bhatia Media Relations and Content lead

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