Pakistan happiest country in South Asia, Karachi happiest city

By: Raheel Hanif      Published: 05:03 PM, 20 Mar, 2020
Pakistan happiest country in South Asia, Karachi happiest city

Good cheer may feel in short supply as the world reels under a global pandemic, but experts at the United Nations on Friday declared Finland to be the world's happiest nation for the third year running.

Pakistan is the 66th happiest country in the world with port city Karachi is the happiest city of the country.

Pakistan is also the fifth happiest country among Islamic countries with United Arab Emirates taking the lead followed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Pakistan is also the happiest country in South Asia as well with next happiest country in the region Nepal at 92nd spot and arch-rival India placed at 144th in the happiness rankings of the world. Pakistan gained 0.629 positive index on the index that shows despite all the economic gloom Pakistanis are living in good spirits.

Among the cities around the globe, Karachi is the happiest city of the country and the South Asian region with a ranking of 117 followed by Lahore, which has been placed at 122 position.

Researchers for the World Happiness Report asked people in 156 countries to evaluate their own levels of happiness, and took into account measures such as GDP, social support, personal freedom and levels of corruption to give each nation a happiness score.

As in each of the previous seven reports, Nordic states dominated the top ten, along with countries such as Switzerland, New Zealand and Austria. Luxembourg also edged into the tenth spot for the first time this year.

The happiest countries are those "where people feel a sense of belonging, where they trust and enjoy each other and their shared institutions,” John Helliwell, one of the report's authors, said in a statement. "There is also more resilience, because shared trust reduces the burden of hardships, and thereby lessens the inequality of well-being."

Meanwhile, the countries at the bottom of this year's ranking are those afflicted by violent conflicts and extreme poverty, with Zimbabwe, South Sudan and Afghanistan classed as the world's least happy countries.

The data for this year's World Happiness Report was collected in 2018 and 2019, and is therefore not impacted by the widespread restrictions imposed by many countries to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

However, the report's authors predict that the lockdown conditions many of the world's residents are now living under could, paradoxically, boost happiness in future.

"The most frequent explanation seems to be that people are pleasantly surprised by the willingness of their neighbours and their institutions to work in harness to help each other," the team said on the report's website.

(with inputs from AFP)