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Nigeria is the 5th happiest country in Africa: Deconstructing the UN World Happiness Report

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Nigeria is the 5th happiest country in Africa: Deconstructing the UN World Happiness Report

Nigeria is a happier country now, according to the World Happiness Report (WHR) 2017, compared to the last time the report was done.

The WHR is a United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network Initiative that surveys the state of global happiness in about 156 countries using six indicators  –  per capita gross domestic product; healthy life expectancy; freedom; generosity; social support and absence of corruption in government or business.


– The 2017 report (tracking 2014 – 2016) ranks Nigeria as the 95th happiest country in the world and 5th in Africa. This reflects an improvement from the 2016 report (tracking 2013 – 2015) which ranked Nigeria 103rd and 6th in Africa.

–  Nigeria scored 5.074 points on the 0 to 10 scale, compared to the 4.875 recorded in the 2016 report

– Nigeria has made significant progress in levels of happiness between 2005-2007 to 2014-2016. Nigeria’s happiness index improved by 0.273 points. Nigeria is one of the 58 countries which according to the report, made “significant increases, ranging from 0.12 to 1.36 points.”

World Happiness Report 2017


World Happiness Report 2016

The Main Issues:

– The report acknowledges that it does not totally capture the Nigerian population citing insecurity, a situation which sets it apart from other countries in Africa that took part in the survey.

“In most African countries, national coverage is at or near 100%. However, national coverage is lower in countries such as Nigeria (96%), Somalia (68%), and South Sudan (56%) where insecurity makes interviewing dangerous in specific regions or neighbourhoods,” the report read.

– The report identifies the economy as “a further risk factor for discontent and unrest” for countries like Nigeria and other countries in the continent. It cites the latest IMF outlook for sub-Saharan Africa which projected about 1.4% growth.

“A number of African countries have already had to turn to the IMF and the World Bank for bailouts. Sub-Saharan countries, including Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have asked for financial assistance or are in talks to do so.”

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