World Happiness Index 2016

World Happiness Index 2016

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative for the United Nations, commissioned the report, fourth of its kind, World Happiness Index 2016. The report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness. The happiness ranking was based on individual responses to a global poll, which ranks 157 countries by happiness levels.

The report found that inequality was strongly associated with unhappiness a stark finding for rich countries like the United States, where rising disparities in income, wealth, health and well being have fueled political discontent.

There are at least seven key ingredients of happiness:

a) People who live in the happiest countries have longer life expectancies
b) Have more social support
c) Have more freedom to make life choices
d) Have lower perceptions of corruption
e) Experience more generosity
f) Experience less inequality of happiness
g) Have a higher gross domestic product per capita

The report has observed that the 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 of the countries.

Top Ten Happiest Countries Are

1. Denmark
2. Switzerland
3. Iceland
4. Norway
5. Finland
6. Canada
7. Netherlands
8. New Zealand
9. Australia
10. Sweden

Out of a total 157 countries that were evaluated, Pakistan came in at 92, while India was placed at 118. It is to note that both countries have slipped as last year’s rankings had Pakistan at 81 and India at 117.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the place for eight of the ten least happy countries, while the remaining two fight, or endure, wars. Afghanistan occupies the 4th position from the bottom, Syria resides in 2nd to last place, and Burundi is last of all. The 2016 happiness index showed that three countries in particular, Ireland, Iceland and Japan, were able to maintain their happiness levels.


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