Bangladeshis are happier than Indians and Sri Lankans, according to World Happiness Report 2017 released yesterday coinciding with the United Nations' International Day of Happiness.
Bangladesh ranked 110th among 155 countries surveyed for the report while Sri Lanka and India came in at 120 and 122. Pakistan ranked 80th, Bhutan 97th and Nepal 99th.
Norway is the happiest place on earth, says the report prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.
Bangladesh was in the same position among 157 countries in last year's report, which had Denmark at the top.
This year, 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.
The US ranked 14th while the UK 19th.
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and those hit by conflict have predictably low scores. Syria was placed at 152 while Yemen and South Sudan,
which are facing impending famine, came in at 146 and 147.
The World Happiness Report measures "subjective well-being" -- how happy the people are, and why. It also takes into account GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.
“This report gives special attention to the social foundations of happiness for individuals and nations… this can be seen by comparing the life experiences between the top and bottom ten countries in this year's happiness rankings,” the report said.
It also said, “Work is also a major factor affecting happiness. Unemployment causes a major fall in happiness, and even for those in work the quality of work can cause major variations in happiness.”
The report also said people in China were no happier than they had been 25 years ago while happiness has fallen in America.
“The USA is a story of reduced happiness. In 2007 the USA ranked 3rd among the OECD countries; in 2016 it came 19th. The reasons are declining social support and increased corruption and it is these same factors that explain why the Nordic countries do so much better.”
Since 2013, the United Nations has been celebrating the International Day of Happiness on March 20 as a way to recognise the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.