The 2021 World Happiness Report shows that happiness in Ghana has deteriorated over the past year. According to the report, Ghana has dropped to the 95th position compared to the 65th position it occupied in the previous report. The happiness index for Ghana is 5.088 and the current rankings are based on data spanning 2018 to 2020.
Meanwhile, the report found for 2020 six factors supporting the well-being of people. These comprises income, health, someone to count on, freedom, generosity, and trust. However, the authors indicated that trust was the key common factor linking happiness and COVID-19 control.
Overall, the report shows that Africans are not happy because most of the countries recorded low scores. However, some African countries fared better than Ghana. Some of these include Mauritius, Libya, the Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, and Cameroon. Their respective rankings are 50th, 80th,83rd, 85th, and 91st. This means that Mauritians are the happiest people on the African continent as of 2020.
Unsurprisingly, Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, has dropped 57 places to rank 116th compared to the 59th position it occupied in the previous edition. The country still battles incessant unrest from terrorist attacks and rising unemployment rates.
Happiest Nation on Earth
Meanwhile, Finland has retained its position as the happiest nation on Earth. A position it has occupied for four consecutive years. Conversely, the current report shows that the world’s unhappiest nation is Afghanistan. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ranks 149th out of the 149 nations captured in the report.
The 9th edition of the World Happiness Report focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared. Researchers at Gallup pointed out that they had two aims in mind for compiling this year’s report.
Firstly, it focused on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives. The other objective is to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, the authors try to explain why some countries have done so much better than others.
As such, the report outlines some reasons why some countries were more successful in managing the pandemic than others. One of the success factors, according to the report, is “confidence in public institutions”.
According to Gallup, trusted public institutions were more likely to choose the right strategy. Consequently, such institutions “have their populations support the required actions”.
For instance, the report notes that Brazil’s death rate was 93 per 100,000, higher than in Singapore. According to the report, the difference in public trust between the two countries could explain over a third of this difference.
Another factor cited is income inequality, acting partly as a proxy for social trust. This, according to the report, explains 20% of the difference in death rates between Denmark and Mexico.
The second measure of social trust was the likelihood that neighbors or strangers will return a lost wallet they have found. The research group then test whether this was associated with far fewer deaths.
Furthermore, the report notes that the pandemic’s worst effect was “the 2 million deaths from COVID-19 in 2020”.
“A rise of nearly 4% in the annual number of deaths worldwide represents a serious social welfare loss”.
The report points out that the living went through a lot of challenges since the outbreak of the pandemic. Some of those cited include greater economic insecurity, anxiety, and disruption of every aspect of life. It also indicates that most people went through stress and other challenges to mental and physical health.
Also, the report considers issues of social support, personal freedom, gross domestic product (GDP), and levels of corruption in the ranking of countries.