Africa: Nigeria Ranks 118 Behind Libya, South Africa, 15 Other African Countries On World Happiness Index

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Finland has been named the world’s happiest country for the fifth year running, in an annual United Nation (UN)-sponsored index that again ranked Afghanistan as the unhappiest, followed closely by Lebanon.

Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania recorded the biggest boosts in wellbeing. The largest falls in the World Happiness table, released on Friday, were Lebanon, Venezuela, and Afghanistan.

This is as Nigeria ranks 118 below 17 countries from Africa with Libya ranking number one in Africa at 86 on the log. The countries include South Africa (91), Gambia (93) Algeria (96), Liberia (97), Congo (99), Morocco (100), Mozambique (101), and Cameroon (102).

Others ahead of Nigeria are Senegal (103), Niger (104), Gabon (106), Guinea (109), Ghana (111), Burkina Faso (113), Benin (115), Comoros (116), and Uganda (117).

Meanwhile, Nigeria at 118 ranked above Kenya (119), Tunisia (120), Mali (123), Namibia (124), Madagascar (128), Egypt (129), and Chad (130).

Lebanon, which is facing an economic meltdown, fell to second from last on the index of 146 nations, just below Zimbabwe.

War-traumatised Afghanistan, already bottom of the table, has seen its humanitarian crisis deepen since the Taliban took power again last August.

UN agency, UNICEF estimates one million children under-five could die of hunger this winter if not aided.

“This (index) presents a stark reminder of the material and immaterial damage that war does to its many victims,” co-author Jan-Emmanuel De Neve said.

The World Happiness Report, now in its 10th year, is based on people’s own 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 of data over a three-year period. This latest edition was completed before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Northern Europeans once again dominated the top spots — with the Danes second behind the Finns, followed by the Icelandic, the Swiss, and the Dutch.

The United States rose three places to 16th, one ahead of Britain, while France climbed to 20th, its highest ranking yet.

As well as a personal sense of wellbeing, based on Gallup polls in each country, the happiness score takes account of GDP, social support, personal freedom, and levels of corruption.