Despite the economic recession, Nigerians are Africa’s sixth happiest people. According to the World Happiness Report 2017 produced by the United Nations, Algeria leads the rest of Africa in happiness, followed by Mauritius. Strife-torn Libya is surprisingly ranked third, ahead of Morocco. And even a bigger surprise, another crisis-torn nation, Somalia is Africa’s fifth happiest country ahead of Nigeria and South Africa, ranked 7th. Tunisia is eighth and Egypt ninth, while Sierra Leone is tenth.
At the bottom ten are Benin, Madagascar, South Sudan, Liberia, Guinea, Togo, Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and the worst of them, Central African Republic.
On the global stage, Norway displaced Denmark as the world’s happiest country
Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden rounded out the top ten countries.
Germany was ranked 16, followed by the United Kingdom (19) and France (31). The United States dropped one spot to 14.
The report also shows that Africans are optimistic about the future, with Nigerians the leaders in this regard.
“The majority of African countries rate life at present below the mid-point of the Cantril ladder scale in the latest available Gallup World Poll.
“This is not the case for average future ratings. Projected ladder ratings in five years’ time are uniformly higher than present evaluations across all countries on the continent. In fact, the percentage increase in future expectations of life is often higher among some of the least contented nations.
“Nigeria’s track record of such positive expectations is well documented. Cantril’s 1960s study already reported a difference of 2.6 points between the country’s average present (4.8) and future (7.4) ladder ratings.
“Similarly, in 2016, there is a difference of 2.9 points between Nigeria’s present (5.3) and future (8.2) ratings in the Gallup World Poll. An international study of comparative ladder ratings in ten countries with large populations, including China, India and the United States, found Nigeria’s 2.6 point difference between present and future ratings to be by far the largest.83 Nigeria’s spirit of optimism may be exceptional by world standards, but not in Africa.”