India goes down 4 notches to 122 in world happiness ranking

21 March 2017

India ranked a poor 122nd, behind quake-devastated Nepal and terror-held Pakistan, in the global ranking of countries in terms of overall happiness of its citizens, a new report released on Monday showed.

In fact, India is down four notches in the World Happiness Report 2017, ranking at 122 out of 155 countries against 118 in the previous happiness ranking, according to report prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.

The report was released on Monday at the United Nations at an event celebrating International Day of Happiness.

India was behind the majority of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) nations, apart from war-ravaged Afghanistan, that stood at 141.

Among the eight Saarc nations, Pakistan was at 80th position, Nepal at 99, Bhutan at 97, Bangladesh at 110 while Sri Lanka was at 120. Maldives did not figure in the World Happiness Report.

Norway tops the world's countries in terms of happiness quotient, according to the report.

Norway displaced Denmark as the world's happiest country while Nordic countries remain the most content among all nations, the World Happiness Report 2017 showed.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.

Germany was ranked 16, followed by the United Kingdom (19) and France (31). The United States dropped one spot to 14.

Countries in sub-Saharan Africa, along with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries ranked in the fifth annual report released at the United Nations.

South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Central African Republic were at the bottom.

The report calls on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.

"Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government," Jeffrey Sachs, director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.

The aim of the report, he said, is to provide another tool for governments, business and civil society to help their countries find a better way to wellbeing.

Sachs said the United States is falling in the ranking due to inequality, distrust and corruption. Economic measures that the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to pursue, he added, will make things worse.

"They are all aimed at increasing inequality tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the healthcare rolls, cutting Meals on Wheels in order to raise military spending. I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction," he explained.

The 10 happiest countries:

Country Happiness score














New Zealand






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