Bangladeshis now happier than before | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 21, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:32 AM, March 21, 2020

Bangladeshis now happier than before

The country moves up 18 notches in Happiness Index, ahead of India, Sri Lanka

Bangladesh is now happier than before!

At a time when the country is gripped by panic over coronavirus pandemic, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) has published its World Happiness Report 2020.

As per the Happiness Index of the report, released yesterday, Bangladesh moved 18 notches up and remained ahead of India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Bangladesh secured 107th place among 153 countries while Sri Lanka and India are at 130th and 144th positions respectively. Pakistan was ranked 66th while Nepal 92nd in the Happiness Index.

In the last year's index, Bangladesh was the 125th happiest country.

The global report was unveiled yesterday in conjunction with the International Day of Happiness.

Finland is the world's happiest country for the second straight year followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand, Austria and Luxemburg.

People in Afghanistan are the unhappiest with their lives, according to the survey, followed by South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Tanzania and Botswana.

The happiness index in this year's report included 153 countries, through which the happiness levels were captured by surveying citizens and residents to assess their general life satisfaction levels.

This year's report also included a study that explored the relationship between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and wellbeing.

The study grew out of a 2011 resolution passed by the UN General Assembly that called on governments to "give more importance to happiness and well-being in determining how to achieve and measure social and economic development."

Over the years, the study has examined how social media, migration, differences in wellbeing inequality and other factors affect levels of happiness. This year, the study ranked cities around the world by their reported sense of wellbeing.

In a comparative analysis among nations listed in the World Happiness Index and the SDG index, the analysis showed a direct relationship between efforts to achieve the SDGs and reported happiness levels, where nations scoring leading positions in the World Happiness Index were also better performers in the SGD Index.

The SDG Index is a global indicator that monitors countries' efforts and readiness to achieve the 17 sustainable development goals, also known as the Global Agenda 2030.

The study also indicated to the importance of research to better understand the relationship between wellbeing in societies, and its implications on the Global Agenda, especially ones related to sustainable consumption and climate change.

In another special chapter in this year's edition of the World Happiness Report, a study shows how natural environment can be a factor in raising happiness and wellbeing for individuals. An analysis of individual responses in the happiness polls indicated that preserving and maintaining healthy and natural surroundings, does support and elevate levels of happiness and wellbeing in societies.

The study indicated a number of key natural factors affecting happiness, such as weather, green spaces and water surfaces such as beaches and canals. The study documented an increase of happiness levels by individuals who live near green spaces or surrounded by natural trees, more than those who live far from any natural greenery. The same was also true for those who live overlooking water surfaces.

The study concluded that a healthy natural environment plays a role in raising the levels of happiness and wellbeing by presenting opportunities and experiences that instill happiness, such as recreational activities with family and friends in natural open-air surroundings.


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