Often, Nigerians are considered to be among the happiest people in the world, but a World Happiness Report 2018 gave a better outlook of what the situation is like and every Nigerian should see it and face the reality. 

Finland is top of the world for happiness, according to the report, closely followed by Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland and the Netherlands. These nations have maintained this top sport for years running. 

Other nations followed before Nigeria appeared at the 91st position.

The report looked at 6 of the key variables that have been found to support well-being and ranked countries based on it. 

All the top countries tend to have high values for all six variables - income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity. 

In Africa, while Nigerians still think they are happy people, the analysis of happiness changes from 2008-2010 to 2015-2015 showed Togo as the biggest gainer, moving up 17 places in the overall rankings from the last place position it held as recently as in the 2015 rankings.

The biggest loser is Venezuela, down 2.2 points on the 0 to 10 scale.

In the report, Nordic countries took four out of the five top spots, and are well known to be stable, safe and socially progressive. There is very little corruption, and the police and politicians are trusted, something Nigeria cannot boast of.

Citizens in Nigeria do not trust their politicians and corruption has continued to rip the nation's resources apart, something the current administration of president Muhammadu Buhari says it is fighting.

But that fight has been criticised as a one-sided affair.  

Nigeria, however appeared in the list of nations that recorded changes in Happiness from 2008–2010 to 2015–2017 sitting at number 44 moving up from 95 position in 2017 to 91 position in 2018. 

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One truth reinforced in the report is that riches do not bring happiness, as some of the world’s richest nations, including the U.S. U.K. and Japan, are found much further down the list at number 18, 19 and 54 respectively. 

The disparity between wealth and happiness has caused policymakers to broaden their scope and look for other indicators to assess the health of nations, rather than just measuring economic success through GDP, the report stated.

This report is based on international surveys in which thousands of respondents were asked to imagine a ladder with steps numbered 0 to 10 and say where they felt they stood.

And it cites six significant factors which contribute to happiness; GDP per capita, social support, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and corruption levels.

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The World Happiness Report 2018, ranked 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants.

The main focus of this year’s report, in addition to its usual ranking of the levels and changes in happiness around the world, is on migration within and between countries.

Four different countries have held top spot in the four most recent reports- Denmark, Switzerland, Norway and now Finland.

Ranking of happiest people of the world
Ranking of happiest people of the world
Ranking of happiest people of the world

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