Norway unseats Denmark as world's happiest country: UN report

Published: March 20, 2017
SHARES
Email

Norway displaced Denmark as the world’s happiest country in a new report released on Monday that called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.

The Nordic nations are the most content, according to the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked in the fifth annual report released at the United Nations.

Pakistan came in on the 80th spot, faring better than nations such as Nepal (99), Bangladesh (110), Iraq (117), India (122) and Sri Lanka (120).

“Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government,” Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.

The aim of the report, he added, is to provide another tool for governments, business and civil society to help their countries find a better way to wellbeing.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.

South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic were at the bottom.

Germany was ranked 16, followed by the United Kingdom (19) and France (31). The United States dropped one spot to 14.

Sachs said the United States is falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust and corruption. Economic measures that the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to pursue, he added, will make things worse.

“They are all aimed at increasing inequality – tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the healthcare rolls, cutting Meals on Wheels in order to raise military spending. I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction,” he explained.

World’s most powerful countries revealed

The rankings are based on six factors – per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.

“The lowest countries are typically marked by low values in all six variables,” said the report, produced with the support of the Ernesto Illy Foundation.

Woman who travelled to 196 countries puts Pakistan in her top 5

Sachs would like nations to follow United Arab Emirates and other countries that have appointed Ministers of Happiness.

“I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyze it and understand when they have been off on the wrong direction,” he said.

 

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (2)

  • Sabi
    Mar 21, 2017 - 2:30AM

    In all indexes Pakistan is improving its place because of continuity in democracy and Nawaz Sharif economic agenda.
    Haters of democracy and Nawaz Sharif are proved wrong again. Well done Pmln.Recommend

  • SHJ
    Mar 21, 2017 - 2:35AM

    Now Pakistanis will start linking happiness with CPEC and their so called army strength. Two things doesn’t seems to be right, Prosperity and confidence in government. Both are not existent in Pakistan. Recommend

More in World