There’s no African country among the top ten or twenty happiest countries in the world in an index produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an initiative under the United Nations.
What does this mean for African countries, is the continent so sad that it’s countries are only among the least happy countries in the world according to the Index?
According to this latest report on the most and least happy countries in the world, Switzerland takes the first spot in a list of 158 counties. It is said to be the happiest country to live in the world. Is it the taste of the the Swiss chocolate that makes her people happy?
Switzerland has taken the lead from Denmark, which fell to third after ranking first in the last two reports. Iceland came in second, and Norway and Canada placed fourth and fifth.
Meanwhile, the United States comes in at No. 15, two spots higher than it did in 2013, when the last report came out.
The report is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a group of leaders from academia, government and the private sector.
The network was launched by the United Nations in 2012, though the U.N. is independent from both SDSN and the report.
Here is a list of the top 20 most happy countries in the world
9. New Zealand
12. Costa Rica
15. United States
20. United Arab Emirates
The network based its rankings on surveys by the Gallup World Poll between 2012 and 2014. It also analyzed how six variables-including GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy and perceptions of corruption-help to explain each country’s score.
Part of the network’s aim in creating the report is to encourage policymakers to do more to measure and improve citizens’ happiness.
The report also looked at the biggest changes in happiness from the three years before the global recession (2005 to 2007) to the three most recent years (2012 to 2014).
Nicaragua, Zimbabwe and Ecuador saw the biggest increase, while Italy, Egypt and Greece saw the largest decline.
And what about the least happy places on Earth? The bottom five were Rwanda, Benin, Syria, Burundi and Togo, where the overall score was less than half that of Switzerland’s.
The World Happiness Report examined 158 countries and is aimed at influencing government policy.
The first World Happiness Report was published in support of the 2012 United Nations High Level Meeting on Happiness and Well-Being, which was itself in response to the July 2011 Resolution of the UN General Assembly inviting countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help drive their public policies. Imagine, governments taking into consideration the well-being of their constituents rather than things like money and power.