Going by the latest report of HDI and further developing the happiness Index, Norway continued to top the highest rank on happiness Index followed by Australia, The Netherland, United States, New Zealand, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Germany and Sweden on the top 10 list and bottom 5 countries are Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger, Burundi, Mozambique and Chad.
The Article also states, “Bhutan, the only country that gauges its progress by measuring its people's happiness rather than economic contributions, came a rather lowly 141.”
Further, Adam Rogers, the UN’s Communication officer in Geneva clarifies that, “This [UN HDI] study is much more empirical than the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index you will find in Bhutan, which is quite subjective.”
So far, the term “‘Happiness” has remain a subjective and no doubt that it will continue to remain so, no matter how much the economist, sociologist, thinkers, leaders etc. try to define and come up with theories. The subject itself is by nature subjective and absolute. Yes, Adam Rogers is right when he says GNH is quite subjective but at the same time he should not forget GNH is broader than HDI as well. HDI could be just a component of GNH.
As far as I am concern, the developed nations which include USA, Germany and other nation also proudly cannot claim themselves as happiest country. Again the indicators are subjective and it is debatable. Today, we see an economic down falls, over consumption, war in the middle east, hunger in Africa and Asia, resource depletion, Global warming etc. and I think developed nations are equally responsible for those factors which led to billions of population living below poverty line and daily billions of people are deprived of basic facilities like food, shelter and clothing. If they are happy, I think they are one at the cost of billions of humans, natural resources, animals, plants etc. on other part of the world.
Many economist, thinkers, scientist, environmentalist, sociologist has come up with thousands of theories and evidences on how the developed nations are equally responsible for man-made disaster in the world.
The questions on why war never ends in world? Why every environment and Global Climate summits failed? Why today billions of Population lives below poverty line? and many more are without much answer. If billons of people in Middle East, Africa and Asia are not happy, it will not be far where developed nations too will have to pay the price and they will not be able enjoy the happiness they are claiming now.It is very unfortunate that the developed nations still failed to realize and those who realizes continued to pretend that they do not know about the problems. For sure, they know that they are also equally responsible for the cause root of the problem and yet they failed in many of the occasion to address the common problems. Until, the developed nations who have developed at the cost of underdeveloped nations sees as common problems and come forth to lend a helping hand, the happiness of the developing nations and underdeveloped nation will remain a fairy tale for centuries to come.
It will not be very far, where developed nation will realize soon the interdependency and its principles.
An Article, World Happiest Countries: 1-187 by Jane Leung (Nov. 4, 2011). Retrieved from CNN International website : http://www.cnngo.com/explorations/life/united-nations-announces-world%E2%80%99s-happiest-country-247768