Case Study

| Published: July 20, 2018

Human Development and Happiness: Are the Two Interlinked?

Reena Basu

Population Research Centre, Dr. H.S. Gour Central University, Sagar, M.P., India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Sudipta Kumar Behera

Anthropological Survey of India, 27 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata, India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Dipak Kumar Adak

Anthropological Survey of India, 27 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata, India Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.013/20180603

DOI: 10.25215/0603.013


The present paper attempts to explore the relationship between human development, and happiness. Whereas the concept of human development emphasizes the material well-being in terms of improving human capabilities,happiness focuses on life satisfaction and well-being of individuals and nations. By comparing HumanDevelopment Index (HDI) and its components with Happiness Index, the paper explores inter-linkagesbetween them.India’s positionamong 188 countries in the world in human development index (HDI)is 130 when measured through the composite index of three separate indicators of health, education,and income.India ranks 117 among 158 countries in World Happiness Index, which uses factors such asGDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, social supportand perceived freedom to make life choices, the perception of corruption, and generosity to measure happiness.The paper hascompared India’s position with some South Asian neighbors like Bhutan, Bangladesh and SriLanka onhuman development and human happiness.SriLanka, which ranks high in HDI, lags behind in happiness whereas countries like Bhutan and Pakistan, which score relatively low in HDI rank high in happiness index.Overall negative correlations are found between the Human Development Index (HDI), its components i.e. life expectancy, education,income and Happiness Indexin these countries. The paper argues that whereas HDI is universally applicable,happiness and its perceptions are better understood in a specific cultural context. The probable difference could be in the understanding of happiness or life satisfaction from the standpoint of broader development and human development as offering people the opportunity to lead lives they value.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429



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Published in   Volume 06, Issue 3, July-September, 2018