Down to 51 out of 156 countries; Finland tops list for second year
KUWAIT: Kuwait dropped six places in the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s 2019 World Happiness Report which was released yesterday. The report ranks Kuwait in the 51st place (with a score of 6.021), down from 45 in last year’s report which ranks 156 countries according to things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption. Kuwait ranked fifth among Gulf states in the report, trailing the United Arab Emirates (21st worldwide), Saudi Arabia (28), Qatar (29) and Bahrain (37) (Oman is not ranked in the report).
Finland topped the ranking of the world’s happiest countries for the second year in a row, with the Nordic countries taking the leading spots, while South Sudan came last. The top 10 was again dominated by the Nordics, with Denmark, Norway and Iceland taking the other leading spots followed by Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria. The United States dropped one place to 19th.
Among the 20 top gainers since the 2005-2008 average ranking were 10 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, five in sub-Saharan Africa and three in Latin America, while the five that fell the most were Yemen, India, Syria, Botswana and Venezuela. Benin saw the largest gain over that period, rising 50 places in the rankings.
Despite the political turmoil brought by Brexit, Britain rose four places in the rankings to 15th. The United States, meanwhile, continued its slide of recent years, dropping one spot to 19th place. “This year’s report provides sobering evidence of how addictions are causing considerable unhappiness and depression in the US,” said professor Jeffrey Sachs, one of the report’s authors.
Released on the International Day of Happiness on March 20, the report warned that world happiness has declined in recent years, driven by a sustained fall in India, which this year ranked in 140th place. This has coincided with a rise in negative feelings, “comprising worry, sadness and anger, especially marked in Asia and Africa, and more recently elsewhere,” it said. This year’s publication also looked at how countries have performed in the happiness rankings since 2005. Of the 20 largest gainers, half are in Central and Eastern Europe, five are in sub-Saharan Africa, and three in Latin America. The five largest declines since 2005 were in Yemen, India, Syria, Botswana and Venezuela. – Agencies