Ethiopians may be fond of complaining a lot in life, but that does not appear to have stopped the nation from being ranked as one of the top ten happiest countries in Africa. Unfortunately, the same report has also put Ethiopia among the least happy citizens at the global level.
A new survey conducted by the United Nations, dubbed World Happiness Report 2016, polled about 3,000 people in each country and asked them to evaluate their life in 11 categories on a scale from 0 to 10. Accordingly, Ethiopia was ranked among the top 10 happiest countries in Africa, with Algeria being the continent’s top ranking nation. Mauritius comes in as the second happiest country followed by Libya, Somalia, Tunisia, Nigeria, Zambia, Namibia, Ethiopia and South Africa. Kenya ranked 12th. The bottom three countries in the global list are Togo, Syria and Burundi.
At a global scale, Ethiopia is ranked the 115th happiest country out of 157. Ethiopia moved seven places up from the previous list of 158 countries across the word and moved ten places up from African nations.
Overall, Ethiopia scored 4.508 in this year’s “happy index” of the World Happiness Report 2016, which was published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations.
Denmark, ranked the happiest country in the world, had a score of 7.526, followed by Switzerland with a score of 7.509.
According to the report, six key factors account for differences between the countries surveyed: Per Capita Gross Domestic Product, Level of Social Support, Healthy Life Expectancy, Freedom to Make Life Choices, Generosity and Freedom from Corruption.
The report also ranks Ethiopia 49th in the global ranking of “Equality of Well-being”, a new measure that the editors are proposing to measure inequality. According to this ranking, a larger number would signify growing inequality.
In Ethiopia’s case, it got a score of 1.884, compared to 1.294 for Bhutan, which has the top ranking for equality.
In the report’s introduction, the editors stated that “inequality of well-being provides a better measure of the distribution of welfare than is provided by income and wealth, which have thus far held center stage when the levels and trends of inequality are being considered.”
The world’s top 10 this year were Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden. Denmark was in third place last year, behind Switzerland and Iceland. Meanwhile, Syria, Afghanistan and eight sub-Saharan Africa countries are listed as the 10 least happy places to live in.