Nepal climbs 8 places in happiness ranking
FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2016 file photo, a smiley face is seen on a sunflower in a sunflower field in Lawrence, Kan. Over the past decade as income in the U.S. has gone up, self-reported happiness levels have fallen fast, some of the biggest slides in the world. Yet this year, Norway vaulted to the top slot in the annual World Happiness Report despite the plummeting price of oil, a key part of its economy. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Nepal has climbed eight places to be ranked 99th in the World Happiness Report 2017 published by the United Nations on Monday.
Nepal, placed at 107th among 156 countries with a score of 4.793 in 2016, has 4.962 points this year and finishes ahead of Bangladesh which is ranked 110th with (4.608), Sri Lanka 120th (4.44), India 122nd (4.315) and Afghanistan141st (3.794).
Pakistan, 80th with (5.269), and Bhutan, 97th (5.011), are the South Asian countries ranked ahead of Nepal in the list of 155 countries topped by Norway (7.537). Northern neighbor China is also ranked ahead of Nepal at 79th with 5.273 points.
Nepal, meanwhile, is ranked 37th with an improvement of 0.304 points in changes in happiness from 2005-2007 to 2014-2016.
The new report shows Norway is the happiest country on Earth, Americans are getting sadder, and it takes more than just money to be happy.
Norway vaulted to the top despite the plummeting price of oil, a key part of its economy. Income in the United States has gone up over the past decade, but happiness is declining.
The United States was 14th in the latest ranking, down from No. 13 last year, and over the years Americans steadily have been rating themselves less happy.
"It's the human things that matter. If the riches make it harder to have frequent and trustworthy relationship between people, is it worth it?" asked John Helliwell, the lead author of the report and an economist at the University of British Columbia in Canada (ranked No. 7). "The material can stand in the way of the human."
Studying happiness may seem frivolous, but serious academics have long been calling for more testing about people's emotional well-being, especially in the United States. In 2013, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report recommending that federal statistics and surveys, which normally deal with income, spending, health and housing, include a few extra questions on happiness because it would lead to better policy that affects people's lives.
Norway moved from No. 4 to the top spot in the report's rankings, which combine economic, health and polling data compiled by economists that are averaged over three years from 2014 to 2016. Norway edged past previous champ Denmark, which fell to second. Iceland, Switzerland and Finland round out the top 5.
"Good for them. I don't think Denmark has a monopoly on happiness," said Meik Wiking, chief executive officer of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, who wasn't part of the global scientific study that came out with the rankings.
"What works in the Nordic countries is a sense of community and understanding in the common good," Wiking said.
Still, you have to have some money to be happy, which is why most of the bottom countries are in desperate poverty. But at a certain point extra money doesn't buy extra happiness, Helliwell and others said.
Central African Republic fell to last on the happiness list, and is joined at the bottom by Burundi, Tanzania, Syria and Rwanda.
The report ranks 155 countries. The economists have been ranking countries since 2012, but the data used goes back farther so the economists can judge trends.
The rankings are based on gross domestic product per person, healthy life expectancy with four factors from global surveys. In those surveys, people give scores from 1 to 10 on how much social support they feel they have if something goes wrong, their freedom to make their own life choices, their sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.
While most countries were either getting happier or at least treading water, America's happiness score dropped 5 percent over the past decade. Venezuela and the Central African Republic slipped the most over the past decade. Nicaragua and Latvia increased the most.
Study co-author and economist Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University said in a phone interview from Oslo that the sense of community, so strong in Norway, is deteriorating in the United States.
"We're becoming more and more mean spirited. And our government is becoming more and more corrupt. And inequality is rising," Sachs said, citing research and analysis he conducted on America's declining happiness for the report. "It's a long-term trend and conditions are getting worse."
University of Maryland's Carol Graham, who wasn't a study author but did review some chapters, said the report mimics what she sees in the American rural areas, where her research shows poor whites have a deeper lack of hope, which she connects to rises in addictions to painkillers and suicide among that group.
"There is deep misery in the heartland," Graham, author of the book "The Pursuit of Happiness," wrote in an email.
Happiness — and doing what you love — is more important than politicians think, said study author Helliwell. He rated his personal happiness a 9 on a 1-to- 10 scale.
(With inputs from AP)
Changes in Happiness from 2005-2007 to 2014-2016 (Part 1)
Ranking of Happiness 2014-2016 (Part 2)
'Sarangkot-Naudanda' trekking route to come back to operation
The route from Sarangkot and passing through Kaskikot and Toripani before reaching Naudanda had not been in use since a long time. The 14-km trek starts from the foothills of Sanrangkot hills and is very good for tourists who want a day-long trek, said senior officer at NTB, Pokhara Surya Thapaliya.
Boy injured in crocodile attack receives Rs 250,000 for treatment
Arjun Harijan, 12, of Ghailaghari in western Chitwan was injured in a crocodile attack when he was swimming in Rapti River, Chitwan, on April 7. The financial assistance was collected from Nepalis living in and out of the country for the treatment after the news related to the incident was disseminated by the RSS.
One killed in Makwanpur road accident
Ghanashyam Banjara,48, of Makwanpurgadhi Rural Municipality-4 died on the spot after the motorcycle (Na 7 Pa 962) he was riding was hit by the oil tanker truck (Na 6 Kha 1091), according to District Police Office, Makwanpur. Banjara was heading towards the industrial area from Hetauda bazar when the accident took place. The truck and its driver have been taken into custody for necessary action.
Two fake examinees arrested
Two fake examinees who had appeared in written examination conducted for recruitment in Nepal Army service were arrested and handed over to the Area Police Office. The arrested are Pasang Rai of Baraha Municipality in Sunsari district and Dhan Bahadur Rai of Dhankuta.
One dies in accident
A man died in a road accident here this afternoon. Ghanashyam Banjara,48, of Makwanpurgadhi rural municipality-4 died on the spot after the motorcycle (Na.7. Pa. 962) he was riding was hit by an oil tanker (Na.6 Kha. 1091), according to District Police Office, Makwanpur.
Challenges for reconstruction
One of the major challenges faced in the reconstruction process of Nepal is the absence of elected local government. Lack of government in local level was reflected in the major pre-disaster and post-disaster events, where it took months to reach the affected region and still no widely-accepted data is available. In the absence of an elected local government, top-down approach of governance has its own accountability deficit.
Apil KC/Keshab Sharma
Making sense of Adityanath's rise in Modi's India
The most notorious incitement of communal hatred by Adityanath was his exhortation to 'kill ten woh log ['them' meaning Muslims]' rather than knocking the doors of legal system 'if one Hindu is killed' in riots.
Identity and nationhood
Whoever says nationhood is not important would be lying. For example, belonging to a particular nation may give certain advantages to a person that one belonging to another nation would not get.
The shankha blower from Bichour
Coincidentally, Ram Lal Joshi, the Radio Nepal singer had his house adjacent to ours and had been hearing him blow it every day. Hari worked as a bagainche in Singha-durbar during day. Ram Lal got him to blow the shankha as a part of musical instrument for Radio Nepal’s iconic signature tune.
Traffic Police in Kathmandu
As busy and hassling as the traffic system in Kathmandu is, the Traffic Police here have to handle an equally strenuous job. Over 1,400 traffic officers in and around the Kathmandu Valley battle against the pestering traffic and air pollution each day.
Menstrual taboo outdated
I have seen my sisters and friends isolated and treated in discriminatory manner during their first menstruation cycle. They were not allowed to look at the sun, to touch water source, flower, fruits, any male family member, nor even hear their voice. The activist may claim the situation has changed and I do agree but still during every month my loved ones turns into untouchables beings.