World Happiness Report 2018: Pakistan Jumps 5 Places to 75 Among 156 Nations

Pakistanis are happier than all of their neighbors, according to the World Happiness Report 2018. Pakistan rose from 80th place in 2017 to 75th place this year while all of its neighbors slid from last year's happiness rankings.

Comparison With Neighbors:

Bangladesh dropped 5 spots to 115 while India slid 11 places to 133 among 156 nations ranked.  China (86), Bhutan (97), Iran (106), Bangladesh (115), and Sri Lanka (116), India (133) and Afghanistan (145) all fared worse than Pakistan (75).

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s (SDSN) 2018 World Happiness Report has ranked 156 countries based on criteria including per capita income, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

The top of the happiness list is dominated by Western Europeans and North Americans while the bottom-ranked nations are mainly from sub-Saharan Africa.

Foreign-Born Residents:

The report ranks nations by happiness of immigrants in over 100 countries. Of the 12 countries with populations exceeding 100 million, only three have foreign-born population shares exceeding 1% – Japan at 1.7%, Pakistan at 1.9% and the United States at 15%.  United States ranks 15th, Japan 25th, Pakistan 75th and India 91st among 117 nations on this list.

In the typical country, immigrants are about as happy as people born locally. (The difference is under 0.1 point out of 10). This is shown in Figure 1.2. However the figure also shows that in the happiest countries immigrants are significantly less happy than locals, while the reverse is true in the least happy countries. This is because of the second finding.

Changes in Pakistan: 

What accounts for Pakistan's improved happiness ranking this year over last year? The report doesn't answer this question. However, given the measurement criteria, it is likely a combination of accelerating income growth and significantly improved security.

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Karachi was ranked 47 in 2016.  Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

Comparison to Major Cities:

Creek Vista, Karachi, Pakistan
In South Asia region, Karachi, now ranked 50, is safer than Bangladeshi capital Dhaka ranked 18 and the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon ranked 40.  Delhi is ranked 60, Lahore 138, Mumbai 160 and Islamabad 226.

Karachi is also safer than American cities of Detroit, MI (17),  Baltimore, MD (20), New Orleans, LA (21), Albuquerque, NM (27), St. Louis, MO (30) Oakland, CA (33) and Milwaukee, WI (46).

The year 2013 marked the beginning of the deployment of Pakistan Rangers in Karachi to fight rampant extortion, terrorism and violence by armed gangs patronized by some political parties.  Evidence suggests that some of the politicians involved had links to Indian intelligence.

Impact on National Economy: 

Reduction in violence in Karachi is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.

In a recent article titled "Pakistan Keeps Terrorists on the Run and Economy on a Roll", leading Japanese publication Nikkei Asia Review reported from Karachi that the negative perception of "terrorism, corruption, misrule" are "becoming  outdated, and businesses are taking notice... thanks to sweeping operations by the army and a powerful paramilitary force".  Here's a more extended excerpt of the Nikkei story:

"The Pakistan Rangers, a paramilitary law enforcement organization overseen by the military and the Interior Ministry, set out to tackle the violence head-on. In 2013, the Rangers Sindh -- which operate in Sindh Province, including Karachi -- mobilized 15,000 troops. The provincial legislature granted them broad powers to search homes and make arrests, enabling them to quickly turn the tide. In 2017, there were zero bombings and only five kidnappings, according to Saeed, who serves as director general of the Rangers Sindh. This is no small feat in a city with a swelling population of 17 million -- perhaps even 20 million if migrants from rural areas are factored in. "We destroyed all of the terrorists' pockets," he said, adding that hotel occupancy rates are over 90%."

Summary: 

Pakistanis are happier than all of their neighbors, according to the World Happiness Report 2018. Pakistan rose from 80th place in 2017 to 75th place this year while all of its neighbors slid from last year's happiness rankings.

What accounts for Pakistan's improved happiness ranking this year over last year? The report doesn't answer this question. However, given the measurement criteria, it is likely a combination of accelerating income growth and significantly improved security.

Karachi, one of world's fastest growing megacities, has seen its crime index ranking improve dramatically from 6 in 2013 to 50 in 2017, according to a survey of 327 world cities conducted by Numbeo.  Last year, Karachi was ranked 47. Reduction in violence is helping revive Pakistan's economy, making it the third fastest growing trillion dollar economy among the top 25 world economies by purchasing power parity.  As the country's largest city and its financial capital and economic hub, a safe and healthy Karachi bodes well for Pakistan's future. The Pakistani military has played a crucial role in securing the nation's future by bringing peace to Karachi.

Here's a video of a Karachi mall:

https://youtu.be/KeKmj28m2-c



Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistanis Happier Than Neighbors

Karachi Safety Ranking Rising

Gangs of Karachi

Gangster Politicians of Karachi

Karachi is World's Fastest Growing Megacity

Karachi's Human Development Index

Pakistan Rising or Failing: Reality vs Perception

Pakistan's Trillion Dollar Economy Among top 25



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