Africa: Report shows the Happiest Countries in the world and what makes them happy

Happiness is an emotional state characterized by feelings of joy, satisfaction, contentment, and fulfillment
According to, The rankings of national happiness are based on a Cantril ladder survey. Data is collected by asking people from those nations to think of a ladder – the best for them is a 10 and the worst possible life is a 0. The people are then asked to rate their lives on that scale.
The report correlates the results with various life factors.
The 2020 World Happiness Report
The 2020 World Happiness Report ranks 156 countries based on an average of the previous three years of surveys. It focused on the environment (social, urban, and natural) and included links between happiness and sustainable development.
According to this list, the happiest country in the world is Finland (a position it has held for three consecutive years). The runners-up were largely similar Nordic countries – Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, and Norway. The only non-European country to make the top ten lists was New Zealand.
The countries were weighted by GDP per capita, social support, Healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, and generosity. By including GDP per capita, there is the assumption that money is one of the leading causes of happiness and so only wealthy countries can make it to the top.
Top Ten Rank:
• Finland: Score 7.809
• Denmark: Score 7.646
• Switzerland: Score 7.560
• Iceland: Score 7.504
• Norway: Score 7.488
• Netherlands: Score 7.449
• Sweden: Score 7.353
• New Zealand: Score 7.300
• Austria: Score 7.294
• Luxembourg: Score 7.238
The United States came in at 18th happiest (score 6.940) and Canada as 11th (score 7.223).
The unhappiest countries in the world were (starting from most unhappy)
• Afghanistan: Score 2.567
• South Sudan: Score 2.817
• Zimbabwe: Score 3.299
• Rwanda: Score 3.312
• Central African Republic: 3.476
Limitations: Take It With A Pinch Of Salt
Some find the top results a little strange given that most of these countries are also famously socially cold. People in Nordic countries like to be reserved and keep their personal space all the time.
One joke going around in Nordic countries since the pandemic is that the 2 meters (6 feet) social distancing rule is awkward for them as they normally keep 4 meters (12 feet) apart.
Basically, it seems to be happy one needs to be a wealthy European (or a Kiwi). These countries are not, particularly the lands of smiling faces. Of course, different cultures have different ways of expressing their happiness. But still, don’t expect to see people skipping for the joy of being alive down the streets of the happiest city in the world, Helsinki.
• Depression: Ironically Finland Has The Tied 5th/6th Highest Depression Rate
• Limitations: The Report May Not Correspond To What One Experiences There In Real Life
It is also odd how Rwanda got such a low score as it is also considered one of the least corrupt, most stable, and most developed nations in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is ranked below barely functioning states like Chad, Haiti, and Venezuela (in Chad it can be difficult to grow crops so even food is insufficient).
• Rwanda: Rwanda’s Low Ranking Is Strange
• Experienced Travelers: Travelers Are Often Sceptical By What They See In The Real World
Some people who travel around the world and interact with people from all over the would advise taking these ranks with a pinch of salt. If one visits Finland, one is not likely to see beaming faces on every corner nor is one likely to see energic Latino or Indian dancing.
Something as subjective and complex as national happiness just can’t be boiled down to a single numeric list. That doesn’t mean the endeavor is useless, just that people’s mental, spiritual, and physical wellbeing is very complicated – even more so nationally.



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