Source: News Bharati English17 Mar 2016 11:23:15

Rome, March 17: India ranked at 118th out of 156 countries in a global list of the of happiness index according to The World Happiness Report 2016, published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative for the United Nations.

Denmark takes the top spot as the happiest country in the world, displacing Switzerland. The report takes into account GDP per capita, life expectancy, social support and freedom to make life choices as indicators of happiness. Switzerland was ranked second on the list, followed by Iceland (3), Norway (4) and Finland (5). India ranked 118th, down from 117th in 2015.  
The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The first report was published in 2012, the second in 2013, and the third in 2015. The World Happiness Report 2016 Update, which ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, was released today in Rome in advance of UN World Happiness Day, March 20th.

“Leading experts across fields’ economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, health, public policy and more describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations”, the report said.  

The reports review the state of happiness in the world today and show how the new science of happiness explains personal and national variations in happiness. They reflect a new worldwide demand for more attention to happiness as criteria for government policy.

The report said that India was among the group of 10 countries witnessing the largest happiness declines along with Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Yemen and Botswana.

India comes below nations like Somalia (76), China (83), Pakistan (92), Iran (105), Palestinian Territories (108) and Bangladesh (110). India had ranked 111th in 2013. The US is ranked 13th, coming behind Australia (9) and Israel (11). Rwanda, Benin, Afghanistan, Togo, Syria and Burundi were the least happiest countries, according to the report.

The report, released in advance of UN World Happiness Day on March 20, for the first time gives a special role to the measurement and consequences of inequality in the distribution of well-being among countries and regions.

Previous reports have argued that happiness provides a better indicator of human welfare than do income, poverty, education, health and good government measured separately but now they also point out that the inequality of well-being provides a broader measure of inequality.

This year, for the first time, the World Happiness Report gives a special role to the measurement and consequences of inequality in the distribution of well-being among countries and regions. In previous reports the editors have argued that happiness provides a better indicator of human welfare than do income, poverty, education, health and good government measured separately.  

In a parallel way, they now argue that the inequality of well-being provides a broader measure of inequality. They find that people are happier living in societies where there is less inequality of happiness. They also find that happiness inequality has increased significantly comparing 2012-2015 to 2005-2011 in most countries, in almost all global regions, and for the population of the world as a whole.