India ranks 139 out of 149 countries in World Happiness Report | Here's list of 20 happiest nations

Published on Mar 19, 2021 07:10 PM IST

The annual report measures subjective well-being by relying on three main indicators: life evaluations, positive emotions, and negative emotions.

Negative emotions are measured by asking respondents whether they experienced specific negative emotions a lot on the same day.(Pixabay)
Negative emotions are measured by asking respondents whether they experienced specific negative emotions a lot on the same day.(Pixabay)
By | Edited by Kunal Gaurav, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

India has been ranked 139, out of 149 countries evaluated, in the World Happiness Report 2021, which has been collated slightly differently due to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. The annual report, released by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, measures subjective well-being by relying on three main indicators: life evaluations, positive emotions, and negative emotions.

To measure life evaluations, the Gallup World Poll, which remains the principal source of data for the report, asked people to evaluate their current life using the image of a ladder, with the best possible life for them as a 10 and worst possible as a 0. According to the report, life evaluations provide the most informative measure for international comparisons because they capture the quality of life “in a more complete and stable way than emotional reports based on daily experiences.”

Positive emotions have been captured in the report by asking respondents whether they smiled or laughed a lot the previous day. An affirmative response is coded as a 1 while a negative response is coded as 0 and the average response is calculated for each person, with values ranging from 0 and 1. On the other hand, negative emotions are measured by asking them whether they experienced specific negative emotions a lot on the same day.

“Negative affect, for each person, is given by the average of their yes or no answers about three emotions: worry, sadness, and anger. National averages are created in the same way as for positive affect,” the report reads.

Read | India downgraded from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’ in democracy report

Finland was able to defend its title of the world’s happiest country as the overall rankings, according to the report, “remained very similar to last year.” The other countries that scored high on the rankings include Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and the Netherlands. The United States has been ranked 19, five spots behind Canada, while people in Afghanistan remained the least happy.

In the World Happiness Report 2020, India was ranked 144 out of 156 countries surveyed. But this year’s rankings exclude countries where the survey was not carried out or where the sample sizes were smaller, compared to the three-year averages usually used. The ten countries behind India on World Happiness Report 2021 rankings are Burundi, Yemen, Tanzania, Haiti, Malawi, Lesotho, Botswana, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Afghanistan.

Here’s the list of the top 20 ranked countries on the World Happiness Report 2021:

1. Finland

2. Demark

3. Switzerland

4. Iceland

5. The Netherlands

6. Norway

7. Sweden

8. Luxembourg

9. New Zealand

10. Austria

11. Australia

12. Israel

13. Germany

14. Canada

15. Ireland

16. Costa Rica

17. United Kingdom

18. The Czech Republic

19. United States

20. Belgium

Check the complete list here.

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