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Pakistan is happier than India, and so are 121 other countries in the world

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The World Happiness Report 2017 tabled at the United Nations on the occasion of International Day of Happiness (Monday) ranked India at a meagre 122nd position among a total of 155 nations.
Last year, the same report, World Happiness Report 2016, had ranked India at the 118th position. While India fell behind four places from last year, neighbours Pakistan (ranked 42 places ahead of India at 80 this year) actually improved 12 places from its 2016 ranking of 92.
Not only Pakistan, all southeast Asian neighbours of India except Afghanistan fared better than India, according to the report prepared by Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a body commissioned by then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012.
China fared the best among SAARC countries, occupying the 79th position (83 in 2016).
Bangladesh was ranked 110th (same rank last year), Sri Lanka at 120 (117 last year) and Bhutan was ranked 97th (84th last year). Afghanistan was ranked 142nd (141 last year).
The top five on the list were occupied, and no surprises there, by Nordic countries, with Norway occupying the top position followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland.
All these five countries occupied the top five position in last year’s ranking too. Although, the winner, Norway, was placed 4th in the 2016 rankings while now second-placed Denmark occupied the first position.
Out of the bottom five are Central African Republic, Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.
This report is the fifth edition of the World Happiness Report after the first edition was published in April, 2012, in support of the UN High-Level Meeting on happiness and well-being.
This year’s report focused both on the social and personal foundations of happiness based on six parameters— having someone to count on, generosity, a sense of freedom, and freedom from corruption and GDP per capita and healthy life expectancy.
Apart from the ranking the countries, the study pointed that 80% of the variance of happiness across the world occurs within countries.
The study also said that in richer countries, when compared to poorer countries, the within-country differences are not mainly explained by income inequality, but by differences in mental health, physical health and personal relationships.
The study termed mental illness as the biggest single source of misery, also mentioning unemployment as a major factor in happiness.
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