Qatar jumps to 32nd place in World Happiness Report

Gaining three spots in World Happiness Report in one year, Qatar has been ranked 32nd happiest country in the world in the global happiness ranking released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative of the United Nations.

Qatar from 35th position in 2017 jumped to 32nd place in World Happiness Report 2018. In 2016, Qatar was ranked at the 36th position. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Qatar is the second happiest country.

Among 156 countries ranked in the report; Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland, and Mexico are respectively the top ten happiest countries in the world while Malawi, Haiti, Liberia, Syria, Rwanda, Yemen, Tanzania, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Burundi have been ranked at the end of the ranking index.

In the happiness ranking for foreign-born (immigrants), Qatar has been ranked at number 26 out of 156 countries and the second most happiest country for immigrants in MENA region. The immigrant happiness rankings are based on the full span of Gallup data from 2005 to 2017, sufficient to have 117 countries with more than 100 immigrant respondents. Different variables including income, social support, healthy life expectancy at birth, freedom to make life choices, generosity etc. are counted for the happiness rankings.

The main focus of this year’s report, in addition to its usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, is on migration within and between countries, says the executive summary of the report.

The overall rankings of country happiness are based on the pooled results from Gallup World Poll surveys from 2015-2017, and show both change and stability. There is a new top ranking country, Finland, but the top ten positions are held by the same countries as in the last two years, although with some swapping of places. Four different countries have held top spot in the four most recent reports- Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland.

All the top countries tend to have high values for all six of the key variables that have been found to support well-being: income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. The analysis of happiness changes from 2008-2010 to 2015-2015 shows Togo as the biggest gainer, moving up 17 places in the overall rankings from the last place position it held as recently as in the 2015 rankings.

The biggest loser is Venezuela, down 2.2 points on the 0 to 10 scale. Five of the report’s seven chapters deal primarily with migration. For both domestic and international migrants, the report studies not just the happiness of the migrants and their host communities, but also of those left behind, whether in the countryside or in the source country. The results are generally positive.

The report says that happiness can change, and does change, according to the quality of the society in which people live. Immigrant happiness, like that of the locally born, depends on a range of features of the social fabric, extending far beyond the higher incomes traditionally thought to inspire and reward migration. The countries with the happiest immigrants are not the richest countries, but instead the countries with a more balanced set of social and institutional supports for better lives.

Source: The Peninsula