Burundi dwarfs Tanzania in UN Happiness Report

22Mar 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Burundi dwarfs Tanzania in UN Happiness Report

TANZANIA has been named the world’s fourth unhappiest nation for the second year running after being ranked number 153 out of 156 countries in the UN World Happiness Report 2019.

It is only ahead of the conflict-ridden nations of Afghanistan, Central African Republic and South Sudan.

However, neghbouring Burundi which became a laughing stock last year after being named the unhappiest country on earth, made impressive progress this year, jumping up 12 places to be ranked 145th. This year, it did better than Rwanda which has been ranked the fifth unhappiest nation at 152nd place globally.

In this year’s report, Kenya is East Africa Community (EAC) bloc’s best performer at 121st place followed by Uganda at 136th.

“Tanzania, Rwanda and Botswana still have anomalous scores, in the sense that their predicted values, based on their performance on the six key variables, would suggest they would rank much higher than shown by the survey answers,” says the report.

The report further adds that: “Taking the example of healthy life expectancy, the sub-bar in the case of Tanzania is equal to the number of years by which healthy life expectancy in Tanzania exceeds the world’s lowest value, multiplied by the coefficient for the influence of healthy life expectancy on life evaluations.”

As for the happiest countries, Finland emerged tops for the second year in a row. Two other Nordic countries came in second and third place, Denmark and Norway, respectively.

The fourth happiest nation is Iceland followed at fifth place by the Netherlands. Switzerland came in sixth place, followed by Sweden, New Zealand, Canada (the only country in the Americas) and Austria.

The United States was ranked at number 19, a slip from last year's 18th spot (which was already down four places from 2017).

The World Happiness Report is released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations on March 20 annually, the date that the United Nations has declared to be the International Day of Happiness.

The report ranks 156 countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.

Bolstered by population growth, overall world happiness has fallen over the past few years, which has mostly been fueled by a sustained drop in India, which came in 140th place this year (versus 133rd place in 2018). There has also been an increase of negative emotions, which were also measured and include worry, sadness and anger.