KENYA RANKS POORLY IN GLOBAL ‘HAPPY’ INDEX
Kenya ranks lower than war-torn countries like Iraq and Ukraine. It was rated the 125th happiest country out of 158 countries sampled in the global ranking of happiness survey.
African countries rated as happier than Kenya include Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.
Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, closely followed by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada, according to the survey.
The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012.
Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia round out the top 10, making small or medium-sized countries in Western Europe seven of the top 10 happiest countries.
Academics identified the variables as real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption and generosity.
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and one of the editors, said the top 13 countries were the same a second year running although their order had shifted.
They combined affluence with strong social support, and relatively honest and accountable governments, he told a news conference.
“Countries below that top group fall short, either in income or in social support or in both,” Sachs explained.
The United States trails in 15th place, behind Israel and Mexico, with Britain at 21, pipped by Belgium and the United Arab Emirates. France ranks number 29, behind Germany in 26th place.
The least happy countries are Chad, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Benin, Syria, Burundi and Togo.