Bangladesh ranked 110th happiest country

Prothom Alo English | Update:

Bangladesh has been ranked as the 110th happiest country among 155 countries in a new report released Monday.  

Norway in the report replaced Denmark as the world's happiest country.

The Nordic nations are the most content, according to the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations.

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.

"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, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.

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

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

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

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

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 rankings are based on six factors -- per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support and absence of corruption in government or business.

The World Happiness Report 2017 was released by the United Nations on the International Day of Happiness. It is the fifth such report since the first was published in 2012.

“Since then we have come a long way. Happiness is increasingly considered the proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy,” the report said.

While the 10 countries at the top remained the same as in a 2016 update, those in the bottom 10, which had the lowest life evaluations, showed greater variation.

The Central African Republic, which returned to the surveyed group, came in dead last at 155, with Burundi and Tanzania doing only slightly better.

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