The latest report on happiness in the world was published to mark the United Nations Day of Happiness. According to the report, no African country was among the list from 1 to 50 countries with the first African country appear on ranking 57th.
Algeria happily leads the rest of Africa, followed by Mauritius. Libya, torn by conflict, is surprisingly ranked third, ahead of Morocco. And an even bigger surprise, another country torn apart by the crisis, Somalia is the fifth happiest country in Africa ahead of Nigeria and South Africa that ranked 7th. Tunisia is eighth and Egypt ninth, while Sierra Leone is tenth.
List of 2019 top 10 happiest countries in Africa
On the world stage, Norway has outsmarted Denmark as the happiest country in the world
The Nordic countries are the most satisfied, according to the World Happiness Report 2017 published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global initiative launched by the United Nations in 2012.
The countries of sub-Saharan Africa, with Syria and Yemen, are the least happy of the 155 countries classified in the fifth annual report published at the United Nations.
“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,” Jeffrey Sachs, the director of the SDSN and a special advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, said in an interview.
The report’s goal, he added, is to provide another tool for governments, businesses and civil society to help their countries find a better way to better themselves.
Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rank in the top ten.
Germany was ranked 16th, followed by the United Kingdom (19) and France (31). The United States lost a place to 14.
Sachs said the United States was losing its rank due to inequality, mistrust and corruption. The economic measures that the administration of President Donald Trump is trying to implement, he added, will make things worse.
“They are all aimed at increasing inequality – tax cuts at the top, throwing people off the healthcare rolls, cutting Meals on Wheels in order to raise military spending. I think everything that has been proposed goes in the wrong direction,” he explained.
The rankings are based on six factors — per capita gross domestic product, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, social support, and absence of corruption in government or business.
“The lowest countries are typically marked by low values in all six variables,” said the report, produced with the support of the Ernesto Illy Foundation.
Sachs would like nations to follow the United Arab Emirates and other countries that have appointed Ministers of Happiness.
“I want governments to measure this, discuss it, analyze it and understand when they have been off in the wrong direction,” he said.
According to the report, “the 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 decade. There are also considerable inequalities in life evaluations in African countries, and this inequality in happiness has increased over the past years.”
The report also shows that Africans are optimistic about the future, with Nigerians the leaders in this regard.
“The majority of African countries rate life at present below the mid-point of the Cantril ladder scale in the latest available Gallup World Poll.
“This is not the case for average future ratings. Projected ladder ratings in five years’ time are uniformly higher than present evaluations across all countries on the continent. In fact, the percentage increase in future expectations of life is often higher among some of the least contented nations.