Nigeria ranks 95th happiest nation worldwide, 6th in Africa
According to the latest World Happiness Report, Nigeria is now the 95th happiest country in the world and the sixth in Africa, with 4.981 points.
Mauritius ranks first among African countries, with 5.902 points, followed by Algeria (5.329), South Africa (5.275), Congo Brazzaville (5.267), Guinea (5.072), Cote d’Ivoire (5.053), and Gabon (5.035).
According to the report, Finland is once again the world’s happiest country. The country, which has a population of 5.5 million people, has held the title for the past six years.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan continues to be at the bottom of a league table of nearly 140 countries.
The United Kingdom dropped two places to 19th, while the United States jumped up one place to 15th. France dropped out of the top 20.
Scientists behind the report concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic has not made us unhappier.
Self-reported satisfaction remained “remarkably resilient” worldwide between 2020 and 2022 – despite the pandemic, results revealed.
Despite several overlapping global crises during the period, including the outbreak and war in Ukraine, most countries logged global life satisfaction scores that were just as high as those in the pre-pandemic years, the researchers found.
Interviews with more than 100,000 people across 137 countries revealed that people self-reported significantly higher levels of benevolence — acts of kindness — than before 2020.
The report, now in its 11th year, is based on people’s assessment of their happiness, as well as economic and social data.
It assigns a happiness score on a scale of zero to 10, based on an average over three years.
This year, the authors also used data from social media to compare people’s emotions before and after the COVID-19 crisis.
Eight of the 10 happiest nations were found in Europe, with Denmark scooping second place, at 7.58 points.
It was followed by Iceland, Israel, and The Netherlands, which recorded scores of 7.53, 7.47, and 7.40, respectively.
Canada, which was ranked 13th, went two places up.
Lithuania is the only new country in the top 20, rising more than 30 places since 2017.
War-scarred Afghanistan and Lebanon remain the two unhappiest countries in the survey, retaining bottom spots, with average life evaluations more than five points lower than in the 10 happiest countries.
Sierra Leone also fared poorly, falling to the 135th position, ranking the third unhappiest country with 3.14 points.
Canadian economist and editor of the report, John Helliwell, said: “Average happiness and our country rankings, for emotions as well as life evaluations, have been remarkably stable during the three COVID-19 years.
“Changes in rankings that have taken place have been continuations of longer-term trends, such as the increases seen in the rankings of the three Baltic countries.
“Even during these difficult years, positive emotions have remained twice as prevalent as negative ones, and feelings of positive social support twice as strong as those of loneliness.”
The study found there was a “significant increase” in the number of people reporting the happiness effect of ‘having someone to count on in times of trouble’.
Globally, 80 percent of survey respondents said they had someone to count on, which was one of the factors that boosted average life satisfaction during the pandemic years, analysts said.
Measures of misery across the world also fell slightly during the three COVID-19 years, researchers found.
Despite higher death tolls among elderly people, those aged over 60 on average reported improvements in their happiness relative to younger groups.
The report also marked the first year the rankings take into account Vladimir Putin’s war, with Ukraine ranking 92nd — up six places in 2022.
Russia also climbed up the table, ranking in 70th, up ten positions from the previous year.
According to the report, both countries shared the global increases in benevolence during 2020 and 2021.
But during 2022, benevolence grew sharply in Ukraine but fell in Russia.
Despite the magnitude of suffering and damage in Ukraine, life evaluations in September 2022 remained higher than in the aftermath of the 2014 annexation.
Analysts believe this is because Ukrainians are supported now by a stronger sense of common purpose, benevolence, and trust in Ukrainian leadership.
The UN-backed Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the Centre carry out the study for Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York.