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World Happiness Report: Norway, the happiest; India among the saddest

March 20 is celebrated as International Day of Happiness by UN

March 20 is celebrated as International Day of Happiness by UN

Norway has been identified as the happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report 2017.  The yearly report, that ranked 155 countries from the world, was released on Monday at the UN at an event celebrating International Day of Happiness. Norway climbed up three spots in the list displacing three-time topper Denmark for the first time ever. Following the second-placed Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland are in the top five.

Meanwhile, the US slipped down one place to 14. Over the past decade as income in the U.S. has gone up, self-reported happiness levels have fallen fast.
Among the major global climbers, the UK moved up four spots to the 19th place, while Russia jumped up seven to 49th place. Japan moved up two spots to 51st place, while China climbed up four to 79th place.

The bottom five countries on the list, according to the report, are Burundi, Tanzania, Syria, Rwanda, and the Central African Republic.

India dropped down four notches to 122, in the report, trailing behind all the neighbouring nations – Pakistan (80), Nepal (99), Bhutan (97), Bangladesh (110) and Sri Lanka (120).

The happiness rankings are based on six factors: GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support (as measured by having someone to count on in times of trouble), trust (as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business), perceived freedom to make life decisions, and generosity (as measured by recent donations). The top 10 countries rank highly on all six factors.

Although, the entire top ten were wealthier developed nations. Yet money is not the only ingredient in the recipe for happiness, the report said.
What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good,” said Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen.

March 21, 2017

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