The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The first report was published in 2012, the second in 2013, and the third on April 23, 2015. Leading experts across fields – economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more – describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations. The reports review the state of happiness in the world today and show how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness. They reflect a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as a criteria for government policy.
The report is published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). It is edited by Professor John F. Helliwell, of the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research; Lord Richard Layard, Director of the Well-Being Programme at LSE’s Centre for Economic Performance; and Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Director of the SDSN, and Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Ban ki-MoonDetails of the seven key chapters are below.
Chapter 2, by John Helliwell, Haifang Huang, and Shun Wang, contains our primary rankings of and explanations for life evaluations.
Chapter 3, by Nicole Fortin, John Helliwell, and Shun Wang, presents a far broader range of happiness measures, and shows how they differ by gender, age and global region.
Chapter 4, by Richard Layard and Gus O’Donnell, advocates and explains the use of happiness as the measure of benefit in cost-benefit analysis.
Chapter 5, by Richard Davidson and Brianna Schuyler, surveys a range of important new results from the neuroscience of happiness.
Chapter 6, by Richard Layard and Ann Hagell, is aimed especially at the happiness of the young – the one-third of the world population that is under the age of 18 years.
Chapter 7, by Leonardo Becchetti, Luigino Bruni, and Stefano Zamagni, digs deeper into the ethical and community-level supports for happiness.
Chapter 8, by Jeffrey Sachs, discusses importance of social capital for well-being and describes ways that societies may invest in social capital in order to promote well-being.