There have been these World’s Happiest Nations rankings that have been doing the rounds for many years. I’ve always wondered what those were about, but never got to the bottom of them.
It did seem odd, that some countries which ranked at the top (ie the happiest), were also those that had high suicide rates and harsh winters with many months of no sunlight.
Some other countries which didn’t seem to be that bad ended up being ranked abysmally.
What gives? Apparently the ranks are decided based on very small sample sizes (like 2000 respondents for a population in the hundreds of millions or more) and also factors that are counterintuitive. Like aspiration. The question asks if you are aspirational – on a scale of 1 to 10 – if your goal is 10, then where are you today? If the answer is 1, then you are deemed unhappy. But as we know from the Gita, aspirations and happiness can indeed go hand in hand!
A nice analysis on these rankings here – a great read!