The World Happiness Report 2016 has given Danes something more to be cheerful about. Denmark has regained its top position as the world’s happiest country, a title it has won three times in four years, losing only in a single instance to Switzerland, which has again been relegated to second place.
These two happiest nations in the world are followed by Iceland and Norway, according to the Sustainable Development Solutions, a research body set up by the U.N.
Lagging behind Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden and even Israel, the U.S ranked 13th, but it is still ahead of Germany (16), and the UK (23).
Research says that to measure human welfare, happiness is a better indication than education, health, income and good governance. The happiest populations in the world are those who have longer life expectancy, more social support, and greater freedom to make life choices; and the countries at the top of the index ace all these factors for their residents.
The tiny Asian kingdom of Bhutan ranked No. 1 in happiness equality, meaning that people across economic strata share the same kind of life satisfaction. Bhutan was the first country in the world to introduce the idea of Gross National Happiness to measure progress instead of GDP. Bhutan, Ecuador and the UAE even have Ministries of Happiness, to ensure that optimism is a public policy goal of their governments.
In case you were wondering how Pakistan has fared in the happiness race; well, not too well… Out of 156 countries, Pakistan ranked at 92, while neighbouring India came out even worse, slumping down one notch to 118.