July 22, 2024

The World Happiness Report released on Wednesday ranked Nigeria as the 102nd happiest nation in the world out of 143 countries.

This shows that the country has slid by 7 positions over the last year as it ranked 95th in the 2023 edition of the same report. Nigeria came behind countries like Iran and Azerbaijan, which occupy the 100 and 101 positions.

The findings, announced today to mark the UN’s International Day of Happiness, are powered by data from the Gallup World Poll and analyzed by some of the world’s leading well-being scientists.

Finland tops the overall list for the seventh successive year as the happiest nation in the world according to the report.

Mauritius emerged as the happiest African country by being in the 70th position on the global ranking.

Aside from the overall ranking, for the first time, the report gives separate rankings by age group, in many cases varying widely from the overall rankings.

In Nigeria, the young ones under the age of 30 are happier as the country ranks 108th in this category out of 143 countries.

However, in the adult category, the country ranks 130th indicating that the older Nigerians are less happy.

According to the report, the rankings are based on a three-year average of each population’s average assessment of their quality of life.

Interdisciplinary experts from the fields of economics, psychology, sociology, and beyond then attempt to explain the variations across countries and over time using factors such as GDP, life expectancy, having someone to count on, a sense of freedom, generosity, and perceptions of corruption.

These factors help to explain the differences across nations, while the rankings themselves are based only on the answers people give when asked to rate their own lives.

Commenting on the report, Prof John F. Helliwell, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and a founding Editor of the World Happiness Report, said:

“The broad country coverage and annual surveys of the Gallup World Poll provide an unmatched source of data about the quality of lives all over the globe.

“There are now enough years of data, going back to 2006, to enable us this year to plausibly separate age and generational patterns for happiness.

“We found some pretty striking results. There is a great variety among countries in the relative happiness of the younger, older, and in-between populations.

“Hence the global happiness rankings are quite different for the young and the old, to an extent that has changed a lot over the last dozen years.”

Observing the state of happiness among the world’s children and adolescent population, researchers found that, globally, young people aged 15 to 24 report higher life satisfaction than older adults, but this gap is narrowing in Europe and recently reversed in North America.

Findings also suggest that the well-being of 15- to 24-year-olds has fallen in North America, Western Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and South Asia since 2019 – but in the rest of the world, it has risen.

Overall, though, there is a notable global scarcity of well-being data available for children below the age of 15.

Further work examines the relationship between well-being and dementia, identified as a significant area of research in a globally aging population.

Researchers highlight not only the impact of dementia on the wellbeing of individuals but also the reverse association: the demonstrable predictive power of higher wellbeing to reduce the risk of developing the disease in later life.


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