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War-torn Libya is Africa’s happiest country, followed by Mauritius, South Africa —Report


The latest World Happiness report has been released by the United Nations (UN) and Nordic countries are topping the happiness charts again.

Finland remained strong as the happiest nation for the seventh successive year, with Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden closely trailing behind.

In Africa, Libya led with a happiness score of 5.866.

This is according to a report done by the Business Insider Africa.

In addition to happiness rankings, the report incorporated a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), life expectancy and perceptions of freedom and corruption to provide insights into the unique needs of individual nations.

The survey asked each participant to score their life as a whole, considering what they valued, said John Helliwell, emeritus professor of economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia, and a founding editor of the World Happiness Report.

“You find out Finland’s pretty rich in all of those things, like wallets being returned if they’re dropped in the street, people helping each other day in and day out, very high quality and universally distributed health and education opportunities — so everyone more or less comes out of the starting gate the same,” he said.

This year’s report introduced age-specific rankings, uncovering concerning trends in life satisfaction among young people in certain regions.

According to the report, Global happiness inequality had risen by over 20 percent in the past twelve years across all regions and age demographics, with significant variations observed based on age and geographical location.

In many but not all regions, the young were happier than the old.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, there had been a notable increase in happiness inequality, particularly among the elderly.

In 2021-2023 negative emotions were in every region more prevalent for females than males, with almost everywhere the gender gap being larger at higher ages.

The report identified the top 10 happiest countries on the continent, with Libya leading the list with a happiness score of 5.866.

Following closely is Mauritius, with a score of 5.816, and South Africa securing the third position with a score of 5.422.

The report drew on global survey data from people in more than 140 countries. Countries are ranked on happiness based on their average life evaluations over the three preceding years (2021 to 2023).

The report is a partnership of Gallup, the Oxford Wellbeing Research Centre, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network and an editorial board.

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