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 The report helps countries gauge how ready they are to start pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals.
 The report helps countries gauge how ready they are to start pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Iran 105th in World Happiness Survey 2016

Iran 105th in World Happiness Survey 2016

Every year, the World Happiness Report surveys populations from various countries in search of the nation that has the happiest people. This year’s topper is Denmark, followed closely by Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway.
Iran ranks 105th among the 156 polled; an improvement over last year’s rank of 110th. The, survey, the fourth of its kind, uses a variety of factors to measure happiness around the world since the World Happiness Report was first published in 2012. It demonstrates that well-being and happiness are critical indicators of a nation’s economic and social development, and should be a key aim of policy.
The process via which the authors arrived at the final rankings is rather simple. It quantifies happiness using Gallup World Poll data that asked people to evaluate the quality of their own lives on a scale of zero to 10.
These answers are then weighted based on six other factors: levels of GDP, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom, and corruption.
The report was authored and edited by John F. Helliwell from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and Vancouver School of Economics; Richard Layard, Director of the Well-Being Program at Center for Economic Performance at London School of Economics and Political Science as well as Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to the team, a sample size of 2,000 to 3,000 is large enough to give a fairly good estimate at the national level.

  Happiest and Unhappiest
Denmark leads the pack with Switzerland (last year’s winner), Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden to round up the top 10, the 2016 report says.
The unhappiest countries are Afghanistan at 154th followed by Togo and Syria. Burundi comes in last at 157th.
While Iran scored well in GDP per capita, and distance from Dystopia (an imaginary miserable place the team created as a benchmark that every country passes to make a better graph), as well as health and life expectancy, it scored very low in indices such as freedom to make life choices, perceptions of corruption, and social support.
Iran had also improved in terms of changes in happiness from 2005-2007 to 2013-2015, up by 0.6 points (on a scale of -1.5 to 1.2)
Some countries that have experienced dramatic turmoil in recent years also saw significant drops in their rankings since the previous report in 2015.
Greece, for example, slipped from 120th to 126th place while Spain and Italy, which were also hit hard by the Eurozone crisis, also fell.
The editors believe the report helps countries gauge how ready they are to start pursuing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which include ending poverty and hunger, increasing healthcare and the quality of education, reaching gender equality and many other great, humanitarian goals that would benefit the world.
“Happiness and wellbeing should be on every nation’s agenda as they begin to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Sachs, who helped write the report.
“Human wellbeing should be nurtured through a holistic approach that combines economic, social and environmental objectives. Indeed the SDGs themselves embody the very idea that human wellbeing should be nurtured through a holistic approach that combines economic, social and environmental objectives.”
The team also believes that the index is helpful because it looks at more than just economic factors, like most other world polls do.
Sachs explains in the report introduction that rather than taking a narrow approach focused solely on economic growth, nations should promote societies that are “prosperous, just, and environmentally sustainable.”

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