India has ranked 139 out of 149 countries in the UN World Happiness Report 2021 released on Friday, March 19. As per the report, Finland has emerged as the world's happiest country for the fourth straight year despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
The report, issued by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, focuses on the effects of the deadly virus and how people all over the world have managed during the pandemic.
The world's 149 countries have been ranked on the basis of "how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be". The study ranks the countries on the basis of questions from the Gallup World Poll. The results are then compared with other factors, including GDP and social security.
"Our aim was two-fold, first to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people's lives, and second to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, we try to explain why some countries have done so much better than others," the report mentions.
India, which is ranked on the 139th spot in the list, stood at the 140th rank in 2019 and 144th in 2020.
"There have been both in-person and telephone samples for India, with the in-person responses being lower than telephone responses, while significantly higher than in-person responses in 2019. Hence the reversal in 2020 of the longer-term slide in Indian life evaluations was not attributable to mode effects," it said.
Finland is followed by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Norway.
According to the report, Pakistan secured the 105th spot, Bangladesh on 101st and China on 84th. Despite being one of the richest countries in the world, the United States ranks 19th place for happiness.
People in war-torn Afghanistan did not fare well on the happiness report, followed by Zimbabwe (148), Rwanda (147), Botswana (146) and Lesotho (145). Zimbabwe is the lowest-scoring country on the index.
At a time when the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to spread fear, anxiety, loneliness, a global report on happiness suggests that the pandemic has not crushed people's spirits.
"What we have found is that when people take the long view, they've shown a lot of resilience in this past year," Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, one of the report's co-author, said.