Dawn News

An internally displaced boy, who fled a military offensive in the Swat valley region, holds a pot on his head while standing in line for a food handout at the UNHCR Yar Hussain camp in Swabi district, about 120 kilometres northwest of Islamabad, June 8, 2009. — Photo by Reuters/File

WASHINGTON, Oct 3: Pakistanis, in general, are happier about their lives than both Indians and Americans, says a survey released on Wednesday.

The Happy Planet Index 2012 ranks Pakistan 16th among 151 countries, ahead of both India and the United States ranked 32nd and 105th respectively.

The HPI measures human wellbeing and environmental impact of a country’s development to determine its rank. The index was introduced in July 2006 by a British NGO, the New Economics Foundation, which also has a branch in the United States.The HPI 2012 ranked Costa Rica as the happiest country in the world, followed by Vietnam and Colombia.

Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index, ranked 69th in the world in 2011. In 2010, UNDP cited Costa Rica as one of the countries that have attained much higher human development than other countries at the same income levels.

And in 2011, UNDP included it among good performers on environmental sustainability, with a better record on human development and inequality than the median of their region. It was also the only country to meet all five criteria established to measure environmental sustainability.

Costa Rica is ranked fifth in the world, and first among the Americas, in the 2012 Environmental Performance Index.

Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country among the world’s 22 older democracies.

The Happy Planet Index is calculated using life expectancy, wellbeing and ecological footprint of the countries with data collected from various sources including UNDP and Gallup.

The life expectancy and experienced wellbeing of Pakistan was found to be mediocre, but the ecological footprint was termed “good”. The total HPI of Pakistan was calculated at 54.1.

Israel landed just one spot above Pakistan, with “good” life expectancy and wellbeing, but a “poor” ecological footprint.

Bangladesh was higher up on the scale at 11, with the first two factors termed mediocre and the footprint as “good”.

India showed mediocre life expectancy and wellbeing but a “good” ecological footprint. India’s total HPI was 50.9.

The United States scored low because of its ecological footprint which was worse than the “poor” category. The life expectancy and well-being were, however, ranked “good”.Afghanistan was ranked 109.

The countries which landed at the bottom of the Happiness Index were mostly from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Email feedback and queries to Dawn.com's editorial team, or visit our contact page


Comments (109) Closed

Oct 04, 2012 11:53am
congratulation my friends
Oct 04, 2012 05:01pm
Since majority of us does not know the reason to be sad so we made it!!!! lol
Oct 04, 2012 05:01pm
LOL......good one!
Oct 05, 2012 03:48pm
If you are happier then than rest of the world, all the praise to you. Why do you have to compare with India and USA to prove what? Probably the article heading should have been Happy and Insecure.
A Shah
Oct 04, 2012 11:50am
I agree, the Indian borders are full of us Pakistanis trying to get in. I dont seem a flood of people wanted to go the other way!
Oct 04, 2012 08:19pm
that's right :)
Oct 04, 2012 05:09pm
play with you happiness with your team alone lol
Oct 04, 2012 07:23am
Good news
Oct 05, 2012 01:57pm
It seems that few of our Indian friends are certainly not happy with the news.
Oct 05, 2012 01:51pm
Chinese does live in Pakistan. For your kind information.
Oct 04, 2012 02:23pm
No, most Indians do not want Pak to be a part of India especially with Pak being considered an outcast to the rest of the world. Sorry to state this but it's true. Most Pakistanis overseas now claim to be Indians when asked too. Glad the poll has found you guys are happier than Indians and Americans too
Oct 05, 2012 05:02am
If this is true, all credit goes to President Zardari.
Oct 04, 2012 06:06am
Oct 04, 2012 06:06am
Oct 05, 2012 01:51am
Good one :)
Oct 04, 2012 06:16am
Oct 05, 2012 01:20am
awsome, giving tears, trouble, tension to the WORLD and live HAPPY
abdul narayan
Oct 05, 2012 01:19am
I am an indian and i congradulate pakistan with all my heart for having achieved this distinction.Good on you guys.Keep it up.
Oct 04, 2012 06:22am
definition of happiness has changed it seems???????
p r sharma
Oct 05, 2012 12:28am
happiness is a state of mind and it can not necessarily be related to the material comfort derived from money.
Oct 04, 2012 12:18pm
Because you are the nearest and dearest to us....and you keep reminding us that we are the same people and that the Two Nation theory is wrong.
khan Usafzai
Oct 05, 2012 02:31am
we lived together and can be together ....
khan Usafzai
Oct 05, 2012 02:33am
I am in USA and i miss the wonderful days and part of life of Pakistan ...
Oct 04, 2012 02:12pm
Pakistanis are happier than Indians and so is the frog in the well.
Oct 04, 2012 02:13pm
How does this explain every Pakistani artist longing for India and others queuing up to get a visa to other countries. You guys are strange.. by God..
K Patil
Oct 05, 2012 02:42am
Who r u bro????? take shot with real name.I think you give very good answer.It shows ur presence of mind as well as good understanding of our past as well as our culture
Oct 04, 2012 05:58am
Excellent Pakistan. Would be proud to be Pakistani.
Nashib Hashmi
Oct 05, 2012 01:15pm
Delusion thinking.
Oct 05, 2012 05:36pm
I am not happy with the corruption in my country.I spend my leisure time fighting against the system.If Pakistani's are happy,means they like the way Pakistan is running at the moment.
Oct 05, 2012 10:54pm
And the point is ? There is no socioeconomic comparison between the two countries. Pakistan should be compared with Somalia or Nigeria for fair comparison, thanks to our hereditary political mafia.
Oct 05, 2012 11:17pm
pakistan reach semi-final most of the time we are used to it
Oct 05, 2012 10:48pm
Take it with a pinch of salt buddy. And be HAPPY.
Abdul Aziz
Oct 04, 2012 07:24am
No dear... Please dont take it in negative way. This is an inspiring news and work more to remove problems from our country. Be positive.
Oct 04, 2012 07:34am
Happiness is a function of choices available....less choices, less stress, more happiness. It is also a function of what one know about how much progress is possible. Less one knows, happier that person is.
Oct 04, 2012 01:35pm
Well, these fudal lords and family politics will not let us (My Pakistanis) remain happy if we let them continue to rule the country. We are happy because we still have some Iman in our heart.....yes Iman, however most of us lack practice when it comes to Islam. But same time, we all can talk like to Mufti when it is needed. So increase/keep your Iman and get rid of family politics....now you know.
Oct 04, 2012 07:02am
i dont think so........many Pakistanis want to migrate to India for a peaceful, happy and better life.
Raheel Adnan
Oct 04, 2012 07:03am
I don't think 'Happiness' is quantifiable. At times, surveys are mere game of numbers.
Oct 04, 2012 07:09am
This is the true spirit of a Muslim and a Pakistani! Alhamdulillah! Pakistan Zindabad!
Oct 04, 2012 09:02pm
They complain,Indian troll have taken a holiday,being sad,and loss of Cricket,you are proving them wrong on both score,you are funny.
Oct 04, 2012 01:03pm
they are happy that they are still alive
Oct 05, 2012 06:17am
Its not happier, Pakistani people are more complacent than India and America
Raj Paal
Oct 05, 2012 06:12am
they have no option, thts by...lol
Oct 05, 2012 01:10pm
LOL! Good One.
Oct 04, 2012 05:18am
Very Good. There is no need for any change in Pakistan.
wasif mehmood qureshi
Oct 05, 2012 04:48am
awesome news.its a best news of the week.and i admit this servery
Oct 05, 2012 04:20am
We r happy as we played good cricket,even though we lost to our brother India.
Oct 04, 2012 03:55pm
Well said G.A. Amazing answer. Also when they do it it is kosher but when we do it it is not. We also compared it with US because these are bench marks to have a feeling of progress.
Oct 05, 2012 03:54am
Thanks for the warm words. Much appreciated. It is people like you who can bring the two nations closer.
Oct 04, 2012 08:13am
hmm..what? Not possible!
Oct 05, 2012 05:49am
Happy Pakistan, my foot --- continue living in fools' paradise
Raw is War
Oct 04, 2012 01:37pm
happiness is from what you are satisfied with. Not with what you have.- Epicurus, Greek philosopher.
MAH, Abu Dhabi
Oct 04, 2012 08:06am
Not very different from general observation ... Pakistanis do give more importance to personal relations, take less stress regardless and are quite resilient!
Oct 04, 2012 08:22am
Give me break, I know things are not that great in USA and India but this comparison is totally wrong and laughable.
Oct 04, 2012 03:24pm
dont get over excited Mr, GA, nations are built on ideologies, and we have one, that's Islam, that's Two Nation Theory.
Oct 04, 2012 03:25pm
Ever wondered who conducted this survey on behalf of New Economics Foundation. The person is Samaah Abdullah--Read this about him from the NEF Website- " Saamah has been working at the Centre for Well-being since its foundation in 2006. He has worked extensively on the Happy Planet Index, and was lead author of the most recent report." He is the same gentleman,who had once stated that Somalia & Ethiopia are far more peace loving than Japan & Mongolia!!! Great research from a dubious NGO.
Oct 04, 2012 03:26pm
i like that.
khan Usafzai
Oct 05, 2012 02:28am
well guys life in USA and all these countries is quite stressed out ....its not easy as it seems from oceans apart .....Pakistan is not that bad , our country is just going through worst phase due to own faults mainly, which we should fight out ....
Dilip Baviskar
Oct 04, 2012 03:29pm
yaar still pakistanis migrate to country called USA...which they do not like....
Sue Sturgess
Oct 04, 2012 01:23pm
aha ... the old adage that "ignorance is bliss"!!
Oct 04, 2012 08:54am
'IGNORANCE IS BLISS'.............
Oct 05, 2012 06:31am
What planet do you come from?
Oct 04, 2012 02:39pm
This has a lot to do with the spirituality, Pakistanis being more religious than the other nations, its about being 'grateful' to almighty. kind of a skewed analysis unless we know specifically how the questions were put to the people.
Oct 04, 2012 08:57am
perhaps . .ignorance is bliss?
Morad 786
Oct 04, 2012 08:58am
what rubbish: "The life expectancy and experienced wellbeing of Pakistan was found to be mediocre" According to what...I have just checked the HPI and Pakistan scored an Amber for Life Expectancy and Life Experience and a Green for Footprint. Its no different to others in our Region and norm for Developing countries... Its rather good despite all the issues Pak has (or atleast we are told they have).. I think we just get carried away and even write the positives re Pakistan with a Negative slant...a bit like Shouting at a child whilst saying sweet word! Pakistan is at 16 out of 151 countries.
p r sharma
Oct 04, 2012 08:58am
Good news !!! Pakistanis are happier people This happiness increases further when they found that they are far ahead of USA and India.in happiness. But it is strange that they themselves were not aware of their happiness. .
Oct 04, 2012 09:06am
Amazing Pakistanis. Happy even worst times faced by country
Oct 04, 2012 06:03pm
I see our neighbors don't have any witty comments coming this time...right GA. Perhaps the cricket season was not as hot as it should have been :)
Oct 05, 2012 06:33am
It does sound like this.. Because Difaa-i- Pakistan is the only group that is proud of being Pakistani, the rest are suffering from inferiority complex.
Sue Sturgess
Oct 04, 2012 01:22pm
Money does not bring happiness, but abject poverty definitely brings misery. Just ask a mother who cannot afford to feed her children!
p r sharma
Oct 04, 2012 09:10am
Happiness is a state of mind.. one can be happy in abject poverty, in jungle or even isolated in the society whereas a very rich person may be most grieving in life. This depends on what one expect from his life and how much is he content with it..
Oct 04, 2012 09:19am
yeah sure. they are unable to contain their happiness. its reflecting in the fireworks on display day in and day out. i wonder if thats what making them happy. sometimes, being less demanding is curse. and the ones who live by the book - dont know that the world has moved on.
Oct 04, 2012 09:27am
It is amazing that people are happy inspite of all those bomb blasts, drones and target killings.
Sue Sturgess
Oct 04, 2012 01:18pm
of which sport?
Oct 04, 2012 10:23am
There is no tax to pay.There is no law.There are no mandatory requirements like insurance, driving license etc. Everybody must be happy as simple bribe is the solution to all problems.If you need electricity you can get it directly from pole using hook therefore everybody is happy.
Dr Mazhar
Oct 04, 2012 10:25am
Happiness is nothing to do with material world, this is something metaphysical. Belief in God helps in keeping you happy. If you don't have money or big house or big car that doesn't mean you are unsuccessful person what matters is how happy are you. There is a formula to get happiness and that is keep yourself away from competition and jealousy.
Oct 04, 2012 11:56pm
Haha.. You seem very happy. Should ship more from Birmingham back home to your happy country :D
Iftekhar Mahmood
Oct 04, 2012 10:34am
Says who?
Oct 05, 2012 12:18am
Simply put, it is called INFERIORITY COMPLEX !!!
Oct 05, 2012 12:16am
I am a little confused. Happy about what?
Oct 04, 2012 11:27pm
Bollywood facade...
Oct 04, 2012 04:10pm
All assumptions no logic. Maybe that is why you cant find happiness.
Oct 04, 2012 04:12pm
Morad-are you suggesting they should start grieving and forget about happiness they found and enjoy.
raja hindustani
Oct 05, 2012 07:35am
This survey might have done on the day Pakistan reached T-20 world cup semi-final. :)
from Indian
Oct 04, 2012 04:17pm
Amnesty , for one.
Oct 04, 2012 10:54pm
LOL! Love GA's comments.
Oct 04, 2012 10:01pm
Paranoids have no worries, so the happiness comes automatically.
Oct 04, 2012 09:37pm
In jest,I said a lot,which I'm not sure what this happiness is about.One can be happy,it depends,on many factors.I guess,if you are reasonably free of illness,you have all your kids alive, if you are safe,whatever that means,if your meals are there,not even if you desire to eat or not,I guess one can be at peace and contended,happiness may be the wrong term.I did not say about spouse,well,it is very iffy,if all -------------.I will leave it there Nice day.Pakistan Zindabad,well done.
Pavas Ambashta
Oct 04, 2012 02:00pm
Congratulations!! Very soon people from USA, India, China etc will start migrating to Pakistan..
Oct 04, 2012 09:23pm
I know every little good about Pakistan hurts bad,but you got to live ,good with bad.Move on,they lost to Sri Lanka in Cricket,that ought to cheer you up!
Oct 05, 2012 04:18pm
it is hard to believe but it could be true as whenever i have visited pakistan i found people mostly relaxed and worry free no mortgage,no big telephone bills,no car or other long paying loans,lots of roadside food stalls and restaurant to enjoy food,% wise fewer people alchoholic,no brothels,religion and religious teachings rule high,the desire to get ahead in life is not so obvious or intensive,sure i believe that pakistanis are a lot happier lots than most other people of the world.for the same reasons bangladesh and israel.
Oct 04, 2012 12:12pm
this survey seems to be done by Difaa - E _ Pakistan Council ......
Oct 04, 2012 12:12pm
Damn right we're happy. We're in the semi finals!
Muhammad Alvi
Oct 04, 2012 01:54pm
I don't think so. I see people living a miserable life in Palistan. Get out of the fool's paradise and be real.
Oct 04, 2012 02:31pm
LoL...reading Pakistani news and asking us to get our own life...Good job buddy!
Oct 04, 2012 05:33pm
Beign happy means, no space for improvement. If you unhappy then you try to be happy by achiving your goals. I think Pakistan need to increase their satisfaction level, which make them unhappy
Gerry D'Cunha
Oct 04, 2012 11:00am
Dr Mazhar, you are a star - what you mentioned is so much true - if people only follow this advice. Bless you.
s. arif
Oct 04, 2012 11:01am
Yes this is the real picture of Pakistan
Oct 04, 2012 01:52pm
I would say that we are in the semi-finals because we are a happy bunch ... we are neither sore losers nor bragging winners. Contentment is the key.
Oct 05, 2012 05:09pm
fantastic news..please make sure you ll stay in yr own country
Oct 05, 2012 07:01am
Congrates pakistan, you are happy country. and hope that don't take it as a joke..eh?
Oct 04, 2012 10:16am
certain amount of foolishness is always required for happiness.
Oct 04, 2012 10:20am
surveys done by west are as true as religious books ................accept them
Oct 04, 2012 11:39am
Why do have to compare everything with India. Get some life of your own, U do have one.
Oct 04, 2012 03:17pm
ALL IZZ WELL.........!!
Oct 04, 2012 05:15pm
Are you still happy, Pakistan lost the semifinal
Oct 04, 2012 05:53pm
Now the index is changed. Now Indians are happy as you lose Semi final :)))))
Oct 05, 2012 05:41pm
After every happiness comes misery; they may be far apart or near. The more advanced the soul, the more quickly does one follow the other.
Oct 04, 2012 10:10am
welcome to my country
Morad 786
Oct 04, 2012 09:51am