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India Slips 11 Spots on World Happiness Index, Lags Behind Pakistan and China

Among the eight Saarc nations, Pakistan was at 75th position, up five spots from last year. Nepal stood at 101, Bhutan at 97, Bangladesh at 115 while Sri Lanka was at 116. India’s other testy neighbor, China, was also far ahead at 86th spot.

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Updated:March 14, 2018, 11:39 PM IST
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India Slips 11 Spots on World Happiness Index, Lags Behind Pakistan and China
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New Delhi: India ranked 133rd, far behind terror-ravaged Pakistan and poorest-of-poor Nepal in the global list of the happiest countries, according to a United Nations report released on Wednesday.

It slipped 11 places as it was placed 122nd last year, which was a drop from 118th rank the preceding year. It was behind the majority of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) nations, apart from war-ravaged Afghanistan, that stood at 145.

Among the eight Saarc nations, Pakistan was at 75th position, up five spots from last year. Nepal stood at 101, Bhutan at 97, Bangladesh at 115 while Sri Lanka was at 116. India’s other testy neighbor, China, was also far ahead at 86th spot.

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network's (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

The annual survey found Finland to be the happiest country. Taking the harsh, dark winters in their stride, Finns said access to nature, safety, childcare, good schools and free healthcare were among the best things about in their country.

Americans, on the other hand, were getting less happy despite getting richer. “I've joked with the other Americans that we are living the American dream here in Finland," said Brianna Owens, who moved from the United States and is now a teacher in Espoo, Finland's second biggest city with a population of around 280,000.

"I think everything in this society is set up for people to be successful, starting with university and transportation that works really well," Owens told Reuters.

Finland, rose from fifth place last year to oust Norway from the top spot. The 2018 top-10, as ever dominated by the Nordics, is: Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

The United States came in at 18th, down from 14th place last year. Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.

For the first time since it was started in 2012, the report, which uses a variety of polling organisations, official figures and research methods, ranked the happiness of foreign-born immigrants in 117 countries.

Finland took top honours in that category too, giving the country a statistical double-gold status. The foreign-born were least happy in Syria, which has been mired in civil war for seven years.

"The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born," said Professor John Helliwell of Canada's University of British Columbia.

"Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries," he said. “Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose."

(With inputs from Reuters)

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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