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Afghanistan world’s unhappiest country, even before Taleban

KABUL (AP) – Afghanistan is the unhappiest country in the world – even before the Taleban swept to power last August. That’s according to a so-called World Happiness report released ahead of the United Nations (UN)-designated International Day of Happiness today.

The annual report ranked Afghanistan as last among 149 countries surveyed, with a happiness rate of just 2.5. Lebanon was the world’s second saddest country, with Botswana, Rwanda and Zimbabwe rounding out the bottom five. Finland ranked first for the fourth year running with a 7.8 score, followed by Denmark and Switzerland, with Iceland and the Netherlands also in the top five.

FILE- Internally displaced Afghans from northern provinces, who fled their home due to fighting between the Taliban and Afghan security personnel, take refuge in a public park in Kabul, Afghanistan. AP

Researchers ranked the countries after analysing data over three years. They looked at several categories including gross domestic product per capita, social safety nets, life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity of the population, and perceptions of internal and external corruption levels.