HOME >Ranking of Happiness
    Ranking of Happiness

Where does Japan rank in the world when it comes to happiness? What is "Ranking of Happiness"?

How is it made?
 World Happiness Report is written by experts in the University of British Columbia with support from SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network), which is commissioned by the United Nations.
 Ranking of Happiness in this report ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and is mainly based on answers to some life evaluation questions asked in each country. These answers are then weighted based on the following six factors.

6 factors used in measuring are:

1. GDP per capital

2. Social Support

3. Healthy life expectancy

4. Freedom of make life choices

5. Generosity

6. Perceptions of corruption

Now, let's take a look at the latest "Ranking of Happiness 2016".

"Ranking of Happiness 2016"

 According to "Ranking of Happiness 2016," Denmark is the happiest, and Japan ranked 53rd among 156 countries. Unfortunately, Japan has dropped from 46th to 53rd since last year. There may be quite a few people who were surprised to learn it's low ranking.
 Why is the ranking of Japan so low?

 Why is the ranking of Japan so low?

 Japan ranks high in all 1. GDP per capital , 2. social support, 3. healthy life expectancy, and 6. trust in government and business, and is abundant in material and wealthy. Then what is the reason? To be quite frank, Japan lets its ranking drop in 4. freedom to make life choices and 5. generosity. World Happiness Report emphasizes that people are happier living in societies with less inequality of happiness.

 Because women's employment rate is not as high as that of men, Japan is regarded as a country in which women's participation in society and equality between the sexes aren't enough. Moreover, the gap between the rich and the poor in Japan is widening these days, and the poverty rate of Japan is rising.

These factors contributed to Japan's low ranking. So, since individual freedom and how developed the social insurance system matter more than wealthness in economy and materials, Japan gets ranked low.

 However, can you really agree with this? For instance, there are a lot of women who put housework and parenting before their jobs by their own choice for the sake of their happiness. Furthermore, during our research, a woman from China said that she feels envious of Japanese women because they have the choice not to work and be engaged in houseworks. So, we think that this does not necessarily follow that Japan is unhappy just because women's participation in society isn't enough. Since us group members think the 6 indexes are too far from our daily lives and relatively adhered to fixed ideas, we couldn't agree with both the way they rank the countries and the ranking itself, so we were determined to make our original ranking using indexes which reflect our daily lives, ideas, interests and values, etc.