South Sudan was ranked the least happiest nation in Africa and the world, while Mauritius ranked the happiest on the continent, and 57th overall in the world.
The United Nations report released on Wednesday March 20 which is International Day of Happiness, is compiled by asking citizens in 156 countries how happy they perceive themselves to be, as well as measures such as life expectancy, income and social support.
African nations have generally not fared well in the happiness ranking over the years, with Nordic nations like Finland, Denmark and Switzerland doing well.
Indeed this year, Finland was ranked as the happiest country in the world for the second year running.
Other Nordic countries, as well as the Netherlands, Switzerland, Canada, New Zealand and Austria also made the top ten.
As well as performing well on all the indicators, the most content countries all tended to have very stable societies, with happiness levels changing comparatively little since 2005.
Conflict drives discontent
The unhappiest nation was South Sudan, where the UN recently said 60 percent of people face food insecurity following a bloody civil war which has claimed the lives of an estimated 400,000 people.
Other conflict-ridden countries, such as Yemen, Afghanistan and the Central African Republic, also featured at the bottom of the table.
The report warned that world happiness has declined in recent years, as negative feelings rise, “comprising worry, sadness and anger, especially marked in Asia and Africa, and more recently elsewhere’‘.
1. Mauritius (57 in the world)
2. Libya (72)
3. Nigeria (85)
4. Algeria (88)
5. Morocco (89)
6. Cameroon (96)
7. Ghana (98)
8. Ivory Coast (99)
9. Benin (102)
10. Congo Brazaville (103)
Africa’s least happy
10. Madagascar (143)
9. Lesotho (144)
8. Burundi (145)
7. Zimbabwe (146)
6. Botswana (148)
4. Rwanda (152)
3. Tanzania (153)
2. Central African Republic (155)
1. South Sudan (156)