Namibians rated unhappy again

20 May 2021 | Social Issues

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



Namibia has once again been rated as one of the saddest nations globally.

After over a year of Covid-19 restrictions, the Land of the Brave was ranked one of the unhappiest countries in the world, according to the latest World Happiness Report published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The report analysed how the pandemic has affected people around the world and ranks countries by how happy their residents are.

Namibia was ranked 124th out of 149 countries on the index, based on gross domestic product (GDP), health, life expectancy and corruption. The report is an annual survey asking people to rate their happiness on a 10-point scale. Namibia scored a total of 4.45 out of 10 in comparison to top ranking countries such as Finland, which scored 7.8.

The 2021 report evaluated government responses to the pandemic's toll on health, the economy and psychology, identifying links between trust in state institutions, how the pandemic has been addressed and the happiness of societies. Parts of the report measured the impact of the pandemic on the work environment, the quality of social relations, individuals' mental health, confidence in government procedures, and the country's ability to overcome the repercussions of the virus outbreak. Other sections examined unemployment rates, inequality and the prevalence of loneliness.



Finns still happiest

For the fourth year running, Finland topped the index for happiness, followed by Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland and the Netherlands.

The bottom five spots were occupied by Lesotho, Botswana, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.

Trust was shown to be a key factor linking Covid-19 and reported happiness. Of all the six factors supporting happiness, trust was seen as playing the strongest role in helping countries find and implement successful pandemic strategies. The report found that trust was even more important when Covid-19 required the structure of private and public lives to be refocused on fighting the pandemic.

In 2020, Namibia was ranked the 122nd happiest out of 153 countries, while in 2019, we landed the 113th spot out of 156 countries.

The latest statistics compiled by the health ministry with regards to Covid-19 in Namibia indicate that there have been 51 390 cumulative cases, of which 2 301 are active, and 723 deaths in total.

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