By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan is once again ahead of India and other South Asian nations on the list of the world’s happiest countries , going up to 67th from the 75th rank last year.
India has lost seven spots and is ranked 140th while Bangladesh ranked 125th and China is placed at 93rd in the UN report on happiest nations.
The report was released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20 which has was declared as World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly in 2012.
The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.
According to the report, the overall world happiness has fallen over the past few years, which has mostly been fuelled by a sustained drop in India, which came in 140th place this year compared with 133rd place in 2018.
The UN’s seventh annual World Happiness Report, which ranks the world’s 156 countries on “how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be”, also noted that there has been an increase in negative emotions, including worry, sadness and anger.
Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for the second year in succession. The Nordic nation is followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and The Netherlands.
People in war-torn South Sudan are the most unhappy with their lives, followed by Central African Republic (155), Afghanistan (154), Tanzania (153) and Rwanda (152).
The United States ranks at 19th place for happiness, despite being one of the richest countries in the world.
Despite the political turmoil brought by Brexit, Britain rose four places in the rankings to 15th.
“This year´s report provides sobering evidence of how addictions are causing considerable unhappiness and depression in the US,” said professor Jeffrey Sachs, one of the report´s authors.
This has coincided with a rise in negative feelings, “comprising worry, sadness and anger, especially marked in Asia and Africa, and more recently elsewhere,” he said.
This year´s publication also looked at how countries have performed in the happiness rankings since 2005.
The five largest declines since 2005 were in Yemen, India, Syria, Botswana and Venezuela.
By Muhammad Luqman