World Happiness Day commemorates what is perhaps becoming the new way to measure welfare: happiness. The happier a country is, the more progress it has made towards the SDGs, and the more progress a country has made towards the SDGs, the happier it is.
Why devote so much time and effort into measuring happiness?
A complementary relationship between the SDGs and happiness cannot be overlooked as it deals with the welfare and state of mind of people in their various locales. Moreover, happiness doesn’t just result in more smiles; studies continually reveal stronger links between happiness and progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In retrospect, Earth Institute Director Jeffrey D. Sachs compared progress towards the SDGs, national competitiveness and economic freedom in a regression chart in the 2016 World Happiness Report, and discovered that though the former two accounted for high levels of positive increase in a country’s happiness, the latter had increasingly less.
Hence, it is no longer enough to simply be in good health and have a well-paying job; in order to have a ‘good’ life, one must feel fulfilled and satisfied in their daily lives. One must be happy.
In commemoration of the event this year, the 2017 World Happiness Report will be released by the United Nations General Assembly, reflecting years of research and development that began in 2015.
In contrast to the World Happiness Report 2016 Update released last March, the World Happiness Report 2017 will delve more intensively into the issues, determining factors as well as the implications of, happiness.
The fifth to be published since the inaugural 2012 report, the publication dedicates two separate chapters to China and Africa which will focus on sub-population in these countries and workplace happiness.
Making a country happier could result in more than just a brighter day: it could result in less hunger, higher education rates and better equality.