Nigerians were sadder in 2020 than ever as the country’s happiness ranking dropped by 31 places to 116 position out of 149 countries, according to the United Nation’s World Happiness Report 2021 released on Friday.
The report, which comes as the world marks International Happiness Day today (Saturday), shows that Nigeria ranks 18th position in Africa.
The report focuses on the effects of Covid-19 and how people all over the world have fared.
The annual report ranks nations based on gross domestic product per person, healthy life expectancy and the opinions of residents. Surveys ask respondents to indicate on a 1-10 scale how much social support they feel they have if something goes wrong, their freedom to make their own life choices, their sense of how corrupt their society is and how generous they are.
Further analysis also showed that Nigeria’s current ranking is the worst since the report started in 2013. The country ranked 82, 78, 103, 95, 91, 85 and 116 in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The ranking does not come as a surprise as Nigeria’s current realities – such as high inflation, unemployment and fragile economic growth – are making citizens more miserable.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s inflation, which measures the rate of increase of commodity prices, quickened to a 35-month high at 17.3 percent in February 2021, while unemployment is at a record high of 33.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Finland emerged the world’s happiest place, while Mauritius, standing at 50th position, is the happiest country in Africa. Libya is now the second happiest country in Africa, followed by Congo (Brazzaville), Ivory Coast and Cameroon, in that order.