Kenya’s Happiness Index drops in 2021

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According to the World Happiness Report 2022, Kenyans dipped to a three-year low in 2021, as the nation struggled under tough economic conditions, social and health impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, and heightened corruption.

The report stated that Kenyans rated their happiness at 4.543 out of 10 points in 2021, a fall from the 4.607 points citizens rated the nation in 2020 and also lower than the 4.583 points in 2019.

The report, however, shows that Kenya last year jumped two steps forward from position 121 to 119, out of the 150 countries surveyed, in terms of how happy her citizens are.

This means that on a global scale, Kenyans fall within the batch of a third of countries whose citizens have lowest levels of happiness, topping just 31 countries.

“The findings demonstrate that communities with high levels of trust are happier and more resilient in the face of a wide range of crises,” the report states.

On a global scale, the report noted that 2020 and 2021 have witnessed a general rise in happiness across the world, as people exercised more benevolence and acts of kindness towards each other, in the face of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

“On the positive side, the most remarkable change seen during COVID-19 has been the global upsurge in benevolence in 2021. This benevolence has provided notable support for the life evaluations of givers, receivers, and observers, who have been gratified to see their community’s readiness to reach out to help each other in times of need. In every global region, there have been large increases in the proportion of people who give money to charity, help strangers, and do voluntary work in every global region,” the report observed.

It noted that last year, the average of people giving money to charity, helping strangers and doing voluntary work across the world has rose by a quarter.

“We found during 2021 remarkable worldwide growth in all three acts of kindness monitored in the Gallup World Poll. Helping strangers, volunteering, and donations in 2021 were strongly up in every part of the world, reaching levels almost 25 per cent above their pre-pandemic prevalence,” it stated.

Meanwhile, in Africa, Mauritius is ranked as having highest levels of happiness among its citizens, at position 52 out of the 150 countries ranked, and with 6.071 out of 10 points.

Among other African countries ranking ahead of Kenya include Libya (86), Ghana (111), Uganda (117) and Nigeria (118), while those below Kenya include Egypt (129), Ethiopia (131), Tanzania (139), Rwanda (143) and Zimbabwe (144).

“For the young, life satisfaction has fallen, while for those over 60, it has risen – with little overall change. Worry and stress have risen – by 8 per cent in 2020 and 4 per cent in 2021 compared with pre-pandemic levels,” the report noted on a global scale.