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 Somalia is ahead
of Nigeria in the list which has
Norway as number one.
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.
Analysis done by TheCable
shows that 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
The World Happiness Report
measures “subjective well-being”
– how happy the people are, and
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.

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“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
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?

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