When you hear of Africa, is happiness the first thing that comes to your mind? It is possible that the upheavals, corruption and many other problems plaguing the continent might be the first thing to cross your mind.
According to the World Happiness Report (WHR) which has been published every year since 2012, happiness is less evident in Africa than in other regions of the world.
Nigerians are Africa’s sixth happiest people, according to the new report released on Monday, March 20, that called on nations to build social trust and equality to improve the wellbeing of their citizens.
Algeria leads the rest of Africa in happiness, followed by Mauritius. Strife-torn Libya is surprisingly ranked third, ahead of Morocco.
The Gallup World Poll (GWP) ratings of happiness is used, which is measured on the ‘ladder of life’, a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 indicating greatest happiness.
In 2015, the map of the Geography of Happiness, was published and in that map the happiest countries in the world are shaded green, the unhappiest red. Below is the map:
Africa stands out as the unhappiest continent, being coloured almost entirely in shades of glaring red.
However in 2017, things have improved somewhat as the WHR reports that average ladder scores for over four in five African countries are below the mid-point of the scale.
And only two African countries have made significant gains in happiness over the past decades. There are also considerable inequalities in life evaluations in African countries, and this inequality in happiness has increased over the past years.
Below is the 2017 report:
According to Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General: "Happy countries are the ones that have a healthy balance of prosperity, as conventionally measured, and social capital, meaning a high degree of trust in a society, low inequality and confidence in government."
Meanwhile, BCG published a 2016 study into country economies including their income, stability and employment; investment comprises health, education and infrastructure; and sustainability includes income inequality, civil society, government and environment.
According to the report which was released in Lagos, Nigeria ranks 142, ahead of Libya and Angola but behind countries like Swaziland and Pakistan.
However, are Nigerians really happy? Watch this video below