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World Happiness Report 2019 – India ranks lower than Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan

Happiness report 2019 - open editorial

On 20th March 2019, the seventh International Day of Happiness, United Nations released the 2019 edition of its World Happiness Report. This report ranks the happiness index for 156 countries based on various parameters.


The idea about Gross Happiness index, was initially floated by Bhutan, a tiny hilly nation in the foothill of Himalayas. Long before official UN resolution on happiness, Bhutan chose to adopt, gross national happiness instead of gross domestic product as their development indicators. This idea of giving importance to actual well-being of people instead of numeric well-being caught the fasciation of the world and as a result was adopted by United Nations (UN) in 2012.

The criteria of happiness

In order to calculate the happiness index, various parameters including gross domestic product per capita (total gross domestic product/total population), social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and perception of corruption are considered.

some of the criteria used for ranking

Not so good for India

Out of 156 countries evaluated for happiness index, India with a score of 4.0 ranked 140 just above Liberia, Comoros and Madagascar. In fact, India has the lowest rank in the whole of southeast Asia. Pakistan secured a coveted (best in the subcontinent) 67th rank (better than Russia – 68th and China – 93rd ) with a score of 5.6 Our other neighbours like Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have ranked 95th, 100th, 125th and 130th respectively.

Out of 156 countries, India has ranked 140th. The lowest in whole south east Asia.

World’s top happiest countries

1. Finland

2. Denmark

3. Norway

4. Iceland

5. Netherlands

6. Switzerland

7. Sweden

8. New Zealand

9. Canada

10. Australia

In the cutthroat competition of today’s globalized world, measuring the state of happiness is a positive and well thoughtful beginning. In our times of materialism, this helps to foster the spirit of humanism and give a hint to our respective governments that they have responsibilities beyond development index and GDP numbers. The fact that many developed nations are far outranked by their moderate counterparts, depicts that happiness is not directly proportional to development.

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