In case you were not aware, the International Day of Happiness is marked every year on March 20. In order to mark this day, the UN’s Sustainable Development Solutions Network in partnership with Ernesto Illy Foundation releases the list of the happiest countries in the world. Naturally, a corresponding country economy world happiness index is constantly updated.
This year, the 7th World Happiness Report was from a survey that mainly focused on the community. Over the years, the happiness of people has evolved, therefore, the survey took into account factors like social norms, conflicts, technologies, and government policies that have contributed to those changes. The report provides an interesting perspective that has nothing to do with common measurement standards but instead, ranks the countries based on how happy their citizens believe themselves to be. So, how happy are we as South Africans? Find out this as well as the list of happiest countries in the world 2019.
How happy is South Africa?
Now that you know a bit about the report, you must be curious about the happiness position of South Africa in 2019. Unfortunately, according to the report, South Africa does not even make it into the top 100. Apparently, out of the 156 countries surveyed, SA is position 106, with a happiness index of 4. 722. Last year, South Africa was ranked in the 105th position with an index of 4. 724. This year, the report of the happiest countries 2019 took into account the following variables:
- Freedom to make decisions in life
- Social support from family and friends
- Healthy life expectancy
A higher score in these variables, which support the well-being of people, means a higher ranking for a country. So what does this report mean for South Africa? Unfortunately, it is not a good indicator. To begin with, one of the most developed countries in Africa has been outdone by at least five other African nations that made it to the top 100 of this list. These countries include Libya, Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritius, and Algeria. This decline can be mostly attributed to the steep decline in the quality of life and satisfaction among South Africans.
This decline has not just happened overnight. On a scale with 10 points, the trend over the last few years shows that the average respondent from South Africa is growing unhappier. On a larger scale, these figures show that South Africa is the 21st biggest loser. People in South Africa have been dejected over time due to a number of things although the most notable one is arguably poor leadership. Particularly, the leadership of the previous president, Jacob Zuma, left a big hole in service delivery.
What are the 10 happiest countries in the world?
It would not be a list of the happiest countries in the world if we do not mention the happiest countries 2019. Here is the ranking from the top most happiest nation:
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
This ranking has remained relatively unchanged for a while now. The Nordic countries are always occupying those top positions.
Which is the saddest country in the world?
On the other end of the spectrum, the unhappiest countries in order of unhappiness are:
- South Sudan
- The Central African Republic
We can conclude that Finland remains the happiest country in the world 2019, while Haiti is the unhappiest country in the world as per the 2019 report.
The list of the happiest countries is by no means a final indicator of the economy. However, you can get a good idea of the amount of faith that the citizens have in their country. In this age and time, that is vital information for governments to have and use to better the lives of its citizens.