South Africans are Much Happier Than Nigerians

In contrast, Zimbabwe remains the most unhappy country in the region, thanks to high poverty levels. In 2021, it was reported that approximately 6.1 million Zimbabweans were living below the international poverty line.
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South Africa is the fourth happiest country in Africa while Nigeria sits at number twenty-one in the 2022 report of the World Happiness Report.
About a decade ago, the World Happiness Report (WHR), which ranks 155 countries by their happiness, ranked Nigerians as the 6th happiest people in Africa and the 95th happiest in the world.

In 2003, the World Values Survey also reported that the world’s happiest people lived in Nigeria. The study, which was carried out over a period of three years, reported that Nigeria beat more than 65 countries to claim the top spot.

In 2012, a Gallup poll revealed that Africans were the world’s most optimistic people. In Nigeria specifically, 88percent of people were optimistic about their future.

Christopher Barrington-Leigh, a professor at McGill University in Quebec and a researcher involved in the 2022 report observed that the World Happiness Report is changing the conversation about progress and wellbeing, as it provides important snapshots of how people around the world feel about the overall quality of their lives.

With a regional score of 4.5, Africa ranks as the unhappiest region worldwide. Mauritius remains the happiest country in the region: high-income levels play a critical role in the level of happiness in Mauritius.

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In contrast, Zimbabwe remains the most unhappy country in the region, thanks to high poverty levels. In 2021, it was reported that approximately 6.1 million Zimbabweans were living below the international poverty line.

Top 10 happiest countries in Africa
Using the Gallup World Poll results, Mauritius was ranked first in Africa, with an overall score of 6.071 out of 10, putting Mauritius far ahead of other African countries. It’s worth noting that Mauritius became a High-Income country in July 2020, but slipped back to its Upper-Middle-Income status in 2021 because of the global pandemic.

The Top 10 List
* Mauritius – 6.071
* Libya – 5.330
* Ivory Coast – 5.235
* South Africa – 5.194
* Gambia – 5.164
* Algeria – 5.122
* Liberia – 5.122
* Congo – 5.075
* Morocco – 5.060
* Mozambique – 5.048

Nigeria did not make the Top 10 but sits at number twenty-one and ranking 118th globally. and 21st in Nigeria is behind Ghana (4.872) but ahead of Kenya (4.543).

Happiness’ Flight in Nigeria
Apart from Nigeria sitting at number twenty-one, as Nigerians would say in Yoruba “Igboro o rerin o”, meaning ‘the streets are not smiling’.

Poverty, stress, and suffering now pervade the most populous African nation. The nation’s long history of being happy has faded with the increasing poverty in the land and the resultant increasing wave of insecurity.

In 2020, Nigeria was rated as the poverty capital of the world. The country just exceeded India with the largest rate of people living in extreme poverty. The report revealed that about 86.9 million of her population lived in severe poverty.

The latest unemployment rate (as of 2021) released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) puts the figure at 33.3 percent. The report stated that Nigeria’s unemployment rate was the second-highest in the world. According to NBS, one in three Nigerians able and willing to work had no jobs in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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