Nepal ranks 101st in happiness index

Kathmandu, May 3

Nepal slipped two places from last year ranking 101st among 156 countries in the World Happiness Report-2018 released by the New York-based United Nations Sustainable Development Solution Network yesterday.

The score obtained by Nepal is 4.880 in 2018 compared to 4.962 of last year when it stood at 99th position. In 2013, Nepal was ranked 135th among 156 countries with a score of 4.156. It shows that Nepal is gradually making progress in happiness index despite a minor fluctuation. However, Nepal is ranked 82nd among 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.

The main focus of this year’s report, in addition to its usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, is on migration within and among countries. The overall rankings of country happiness are based on the pooled results from Gallup World Poll surveys from 2015-2017, and show both change and stability. There is a new top ranking country, Finland, but the top 10 positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years, although with some swapping of places. Four different countries have held top spot in the four most recent reports — Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland.

The rankings are determined on the basis of Gallup surveys that analysed the key factors contributing to happiness level of people in individual countries.  GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption were determined as key determinants of happiness. The report ends on a different tack, with a focus on three emerging health problems that threaten happiness — obesity, the opioid crisis, and depression.

In South Asia, Nepal ranks third after Pakistan (75th globally) and Bhutan (97th). Bangladesh (115th), Sri Lanka (116th), India (133rd) and Afghanistan (145th) are fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh in SAARC region accordingly. Maldives was not included in the survey. The top five happiest countries are Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Switzerland. At the bottom are Yemen, Tanzania, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Burundi.

According to the report, the average scores simply reflect what individual respondents report to the Gallup World Poll surveyors.