In 2010, Nigeria, the giant of Africa and the most populous black nation, was rated as having the “happiest people on earth”, but not anymore.
A latest ranking by World Happiness Report, a UN agency, showed that Norway is at the zenith of the list.
According to a report, the ranking has been published for the past five years, during which the Nordic countries-Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and Finland, have consistently topped the list.
Between 2014 and 2016, Nigeria ranked the 95th position, coming below the North African countries – Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Somalia, which ranked 53rd, 68th, 84th, 93rd respectively.
Within the same period, Nigeria was rated the 6th happiest African country, with Algeria topping the list.
The World Happiness Report measures “subjective well-being” – how happy the people are, and why.
The rankings are based on “all the main factors found to support happiness: caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance.”
It mainly relies on asking a simple, subjective question of more than 1,000 people every year in more than 150 countries.
“Imagine a ladder, with steps numbered from 0 at the bottom to 10 at the top,” the question read.
“The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”
The average result is the country’s score – ranging from Norway’s 7.54 to the Central African Republic’s 2.69. But the report also tries to analyse statistics to explain why one country is happier than another.
It looks at factors including economic strength (measured in GDP per capita), social support, life expectancy, freedom of choice, generosity, and perceived corruption.
The report also stated that sub-Saharan African countries, especially the conflict stricken nations, have predictably low scores, with Syria ranking 152 of 155 countries.
Yemen and South Sudan, which are facing impending famine, came in at 146 and 147, respectively, while Central African Republic ranked 155th.
Nigeria is currently undergoing challenges like economic recession and insurgency. Could this be the reason why we keep dropping on the list?