India's rank in the fourth World Happiness report, released Wednesday in Rome before the International Day of Happiness, dropped a notch as compared to last year. India, at the 118th position, features behind Pakistan, Iraq, China and Palestinian Territories on the list.
India was among a group of 10 countries facing happiness declines, the report said, adding that the other countries include Ukraine, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, two North African countries, Egypt and Yemen, and Botswana. The largest regional drop was found to be in South Asia, of which India is a part.
"Measuring self-reported happiness and achieving well-being should be on every nation's agenda as they begin to pursue the Sustainable Development Goals," Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, was quoted as saying by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN).
The countries in the top 10 in 2015 have not moved, though they have interchanged their positions. Denmark, for instance, ranked number one in 2016 while it was third in 2015. The top 10 happiest countries were Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. The Unites States is ranked 13th on the list.
This year's world happiness report ranked 157 countries instead of 156.
Among the lowest-ranked were Burundi, Syria, Togo and Afghanistan.
The United Nations' SDSN computes world happiness based on life expectancy, gross domestic product, freedom, generosity, social support and perceptions of corruption. Along with the six parameters, people are also asked to rank their own happiness.
"The rankings are based on answers to the main life evaluation question asked in the poll. This is called the Cantril ladder: It asks respondents to think of a ladder, with the best possible life for them being a 10, and the worst possible life being a 0. They are then asked to rate their own current lives on that 0 to 10 scale," the website said.