What makes you happy? Money, accomplishments, friends or family? Actually, more to the point, what is happiness to a young person, living in developing countries in Africa?
Youths in Nigeria have been listed as second happiest people in the world, better than United State of America, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Australia, Japan, China.
According to a new study, Generation Z: Global Citizenship Survey – What the World’s Young People Think and Feel, which was based on research carried by the Varkey Foundation first reported by Alex Gray, Formative Content, on World Economic Forum. Wealth, religion, has little effect on happiness. For Nigerians health, both mentally and physically, Relationship with friends and Family is the most valuable asset.
This appears to confirm the old adage that money cannot buy happiness.
Aside Nigeria youths ranking highest on the happiness index in the world, second only to Indonesia, Nigerians still believe their country is the best place to live in and Government has a big role to play in increasing their sense of belonging.
Although, a high percentage of the respondents remain fearful of their future due to extremism, global terrorism and possible conflict and war.
Using a simple survey method interviewing 20,000, 15-21 year-olds, known as ‘Generation Z’, in 20 countries whether they were happy, what made them happy, and what their thoughts were on a wide range of topics. The researchers said what they found could help explain why some of the world’s poorest nations are also the happiest.
According to the study, Young people in developed nations were the least happy despite the sharp contrast on the level of income to developing nations youths.
The report also found that growing older, in Nigeria and other developing countries, brings about happiness, compared to developed nation.
“Fifty-two per cent of 19-21 year-olds said they were happy as opposed to 68 percent of 15 to 16 year-olds. There’s also a gender imbalance. Young women were less likely to say they were happy (56 percent) than young men (62 percent).”
In measuring happiness, the Varkey Foundation team, used Likert scale question method to get respondents to choose one option that best align with their view, taking everything into consideration to what extent are you happy or unhappy with your life at the moment?” And their answers could range between 1. Very happy and 5. very unhappy.
The research also revealed that technology, education, Money, plays an important role in lives of many Nigerians’ hope for the future.
For the Nigeria respondents, role models, confidence, motivation is not a problem, but more knowledge of how to contribute to their society will make them happier.
In the survey, the other top-scoring factor was having good relationships with friends (91 percent) and family (92 percent), and being fulfilled in study or at work (89 percent). Money was also important (85 percent).
Although, there were variations in the priorities of young people in different countries.
South Africa, one of the two African countries in the survey, placed more value on Family (51 percent) than Nigeria (19 percent) when looking at the future.
While Nigeria ranked higher, in the emotional well being, (36 percent) compared to South Africa (30 percent), 60 percent respondents of South African respondents are better placed about what the future holds for them.
Commitment to religious beliefs was much more important in Indonesia (93 percent) and Nigeria (86 percent), for instance, than it was in Japan (9 percent) or France (18 percent).
Pay came a close second (23 percent) followed by career progression (19 percent). Working for an organization that makes a positive impact on the world was much less important to them (13 percent).
Becoming a celebrity and being famous was the least important, only 3 percent considered it a priority.
An earlier study of more than 65 countries published 2003 in the UK’s New Scientist magazine had showed that the happiest people in the world live in Nigeria.
Also, according to the third annual World Happiness index published in 2015 by the United Nations (UN), Nigeria is among the three happiest nations in Africa.