UN World Happiness Report- 2019 | 22 Mar 2019

The Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations released the World Happiness Report on March 20, which was designated as the World Happiness Day by the UN General Assembly in 2012.

  • This is UN’s seventh annual World Happiness Report, which ranks the world’s 156 countries on “how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be”.
  • The focus of report was- "Happiness and Community: how happiness has been changing over the past dozen years, and how information technology, governance and social norms influence communities"
  • The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being:
    • Income,
    • Freedom to make life choices,
    • Trust,
    • Healthy life expectancy,
    • Social support and
    • Generosity.
  • The happiness study ranks the countries of the world on the basis of questions from the Gallup World Poll. The results are then correlated with other factors, including GDP and social security.


  • The overall world happiness has fallen over the past few years, which has mostly been fuelled by a sustained drop in India, which came in 140th place this year (2019) compared with 133rd in 2018.
    • There has been an increase in negative emotions, including worry, sadness and anger.
  • India featured in the five countries that had the largest drop since 2008 in the index, along with Yemen, Syria, Botswana and Venezuela.
  • The list is topped by Finland for the second year in a row followed by Denmark, Norway, Iceland and the Netherlands.
  • Among India's neighbouring countries, Pakistan is ranked 67th, Bangladesh 125th, Bhutan 95th, Sri Lanka 130th and China is placed at 93rd.
  • People in war-torn South Sudan are the most unhappy with their lives, followed by Central African Republic (155), Afghanistan (154), Tanzania (153) and Rwanda (152).

Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)

  • The Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), launched in 2012, mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • It was established under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General.
  • The SDSN and the Bertelsmann Stiftung have been publishing the annual SDG Index & Dashboards Global Report since 2016.