Nigeria has been ranked as the third happiest country in Africa and 85th in the world, behind Mauritius and Libya, the latest U.N. Happiness Report 2019 has revealed.
In the report released on Wednesday, Finland topped as the world’s happiest country, scoring 7,769 points and was followed by fellow Scandinavians, Denmark and Norway that rank second and third respectively.
Basing its evaluation on the Gallup World Poll surveys from 2016-2018, the U.N. used indices like GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy and perceptions of corruption, among others, in its assessment of 156 countries.
Mauritius and strife-stricken Libya took the first and second place in Africa and they scored 5,888 and 5,525 points respectively.
They also rank 57 and 72 in that order, with Nigeria scoring 5,265 points, according to the report.
In the report, Benin Republic replaced Togo as the top nation in the world for the highest positive change, though now ranked 102 with 4,883 points.
The tiny African country was ranked fourth-last overall when the reports began in 2012, a position now taken by Tanzania, while Sudan is listed as home to the least happy people out of the countries involved in the survey.
The top 10 countries are European, with the exception of Canada that clinched the ninth slot as the world’s largest economy, the United States, occupies the 19th position.
Issues including addiction to alcohol, drugs, gambling and computer and mobile phones were identified by the report as factors that erode people’s happiness.
“The U.S. is suffering an epidemic
of addictions, and these addictions are leaving a rising portion of American society
unhappy and a rising number clinically depressed,” argued a co-author of the report and Director, Center for Sustainable Development, Columbia University, Jeffrey Sachs.
Corruption has been a big issue in Nigeria and a major campaign plank of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last general elections but the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has always criticised the government for being selective in the anti-corruption fight.