World Happiness Report 2023: Bangladesh grows unhappier, Finland all smiles
20 March is observed annually as the International Day of Happiness
Bangladesh turned its smile upside down as it placed 118th among 137 countries in the latest report on world happiness.
It placed among the bottom 20 countries.
Finland ranked as the happiest country in the world for the sixth time in a row. It was followed by two more Scandinavian nations – Denmark and Iceland – said the World Happiness Report 2023, a publication of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, powered by the Gallup World Poll data, released on Monday (20 March) on the occasion of International Day of Happiness.
Bangladesh was in 94th position in the previous report, up from 101st in the 2021 rankings. The country was 107th in 2020 and 125th in 2019.
Neighbouring India ranked 126, Pakistan 108th position, Sri Lanka 112, and Nepal at 78 this year.
On the flip side, war-torn Afghanistan and Lebanon remain at the bottom.
Countries are ranked on happiness based on their average life evaluations in terms of six key variables: GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and absence of corruption. It is gauged over the three preceding years, in this case 2020 to 2022.
"It has been over ten years since the first World Happiness Report was published. And it is exactly ten years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/281, proclaiming 20 March to be observed annually as the International Day of Happiness. Since then, more and more people have come to believe that our success as countries should be judged by the happiness of our people," the report said.
It also said that there is also a growing consensus about how happiness should be measured, saying, "This consensus means that national happiness can now become an operational objective for governments."
"The years 2020 and 2021 brought seismic changes to the emotional and social lives of people around the globe as an unprecedented global pandemic catalysed various forms of social, political, and economic upheaval and unrest. But unanticipated positive changes were documented as well during this period. One that has garnered relatively little attention was a surge in various forms of prosocial behaviour around the globe," the report added.
According to the report, relative to the years leading up to the pandemic, in 2020-21 more people around the globe reported that they had donated to charity, volunteered, or helped a stranger during the prior month.
Published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the report draws on global survey data from people in more than 150 countries.