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India ranks behind Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal in happiness index

Oslo: India ranked 122nd, behind terror-riven Pakistan and poorest-of-poor Nepal in the global list of the happiest countries, according to a United Nations report released on Monday.

India came down by three slots, as last year it was placed at 118th spot. It 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 stood at 99, Bhutan at 97, Bangladesh at 110 while Sri Lanka was at 120. However, Maldives did not figure in the World Happiness Report.

Norway took the top spot from Denmark as the happiest country in the world.

The Scandinavian nation, which was ranked fourth in last year's report, jumped to the top this year on the basis of several key calculations, including levels of caring, freedom to make life decisions, generosity, good governance, honesty, health and income.

Other factors by which 155 countries were measured in the annual World Happiness Report are: inequality, life expectancy, GDP per capita, public trust (i.e. a lack of corruption in government and business), and social support.

Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and and Finland round out the top five, while the Central African Republic came last in the World Happiness Report.

Western Europe and North America dominated the top of the table, with the US and Britain at 14th and 19th positions, respectively.

Syria placed 152 of 155 countries -- Yemen and South Sudan, which are facing impending famine, came in at 146 and 147.

The World Happiness Report was released to coincide with the United Nations' International Day of Happiness on March 20.

IANS

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