UN: Mauritius happiest nation in Africa, South Sudan least happy

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A man works on plastic buckets near small fishing craft on the Pointe aux Piments beach on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, in this file picture taken August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File

A United Nations report released on Wednesday, March 20 as part of the International Day of Happiness revealed Mauritius is the happiest place in Africa.

A man works on plastic buckets near small fishing craft on the Pointe aux Piments beach on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, in this file picture taken August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen/File

The survey asked citizens in 156 countries how happy they perceive themselves to be and also looked at other factors such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.

Mauritius was the highest-ranking African nation and ranked overall at No. 57, dropping two places from last year. Libya and Nigeria are the second and third happiest places in Africa.

South Sudan was ranked the least happy nation in Africa and the world. The report said the nation’s long civil war drove much of the discontent. 60 percent of people face food insecurity as a result. The conflict is also responsible for the deaths of an estimated 400,000 people.  However, President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to end the fighting and are currently working toward a permanent peace plan.

Other conflict-ridden countries, such as Yemen, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic, also featured at the bottom of the table.

The report warned that world happiness has declined in recent years, as negative feelings rise, “comprising worry, sadness and anger, especially marked in Asia and Africa, and more recently elsewhere’‘.

At the other end of the spectrum, Finland is the happiest country in the world for the second consecutive year. The Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand and Austria also made the top ten.

The survey said as performing well on all the indicators, the most content countries all tended to have very stable societies, with happiness levels changing comparatively little since 2005.

You can read the entire report here.

Africa’s happiest

1. Mauritius (57 in the world)
2. Libya (72)
3. Nigeria (85)
4. Algeria (88)
5. Morocco (89)
6. Cameroon (96)
7. Ghana (98)
8. Ivory Coast (99)
9. Benin (102)
10. Congo Brazzaville (103)

Africa’s least happy

10. Madagascar (143)
9. Lesotho (144)
8. Burundi (145)
7. Zimbabwe (146)
6. Botswana (148)
5.Malawi (150)
4. Rwanda (152)
3. Tanzania (153)
2. Central African Republic (155)
1. South Sudan (156)

10 happiest countries in the world

  1. Finland
  2. Denmark
  3. Norway
  4. Iceland
  5. Netherlands
  6. Switzerland
  7. Sweden
  8. New Zealand
  9. Canada
  10. Austria

10 least happy countries

  1. South Sudan
  2. Central African Republic
  3. Afghanistan
  4. Tanzania
  5. Rwanda
  6. Yemen
  7. Malawi
  8. Syria
  9. Botswana
  10. Haiti

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