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SA overtakes Nigeria as the most miserable African country

...Nigeria improves by one position ranking 7th

Nigeria, Africa most populous economy, is no longer ranked as the most miserable country in the continent, having been overtaken by South Africa.

Findings from the latest 2019 Hanke’s annual misery index showed that Nigeria’s improvement to the seventh position globally in 2019 from the sixth in 2018 puts it as the second most miserable country in Africa. South Africa (SA) ranks sixth position, making it the top most miserable African country.

The misery index modified by Steve Hanke, an American applied economist at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, USA shows which countries are getting less miserable and those that are getting more.

The index, which analyses 95 countries that report relevant data on a timely basis arrived at its ranking by considering the “sum of unemployment, inflation and bank lending rates, minus the percentage change in real GDP per capita

In 2019, Nigeria’s misery index stood at 36.8 from 43.0 in 2018. SA stood at 43.4 from 42.0. The major contributing factor for Nigeria’s poor ranking was bank lending rates and high inflation rates, while high unemployment rate was the major contributory factor for its previous ranking. Unemployment remains SA’s major factor.

“Higher readings on the first three elements are “bad” and make people more miserable. These are offset by a “good” (GDP per capita growth), which is subtracted from the sum of the “bads.” A higher Misery Index score reflects a higher level of “misery.” It’s a simple enough metric that can be understood at a glance,” Hanke said.

On the global scene, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Iran and Turkey are the World’s top five most miserable countries, while Japan, Hungary, Thailand, Malta and Taiwan are the least miserable countries.

According to Hanke,  the currently most miserable should take heart that it is possible to improve. And the currently least miserable should note that they, too, can fall into despair.



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