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Africa tops the charts of unhappiness

According to the 2015 World Happiness Report, Africa is the unhappiest continent in the world.

Togo is the world’ unhappiest country. Burundi, Benin, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Chad are also among the 10 unhappiest countries in the world (along with Syria and Afghanistan)

In the list of the 20 unhappiest countries, we find other African countries: Central African Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania, Niger, Gabon, Senegal, Uganda, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville.

The index of happiness is measured on the basis of GDP, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity, and perception of corruption.

While it is easy to imagine that several scholarly tomes will be written using these and similar data, one has to wonder whether they actually provide an accurate picture of the level of happiness in African countries. And it is not hard to imagine that if happiness had been treated as a function, in the mathematical sense, of a different set of variables,  African countries would have been credited for being remarkably happier. Hence, one does not whether one has to be more unhappy for Africa’s alleged unhappiness or for how these and similar indexes are constructed.

The 2015 World Happiness Report can be found here:!file/WorldHappinessIndex2015.pdf


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