The World’s Worst Country To Live In

This evening, I was reading about Brazil, on Wikipedia. Amongst the rich textual content on Wikipedia, I read that Brazil ranked 39th amongst 110 countries that were ranked recently by a The Economist report. I followed the link from Wikipedia to The Economist‘s website where the article and some other countries were listed.

The Economist explains how it gathers the data for this analysis:

“But how to combine in a single, comparative statistic the factors believed to influence people’s happiness? There have been many attempts, none entirely successful: the factors selected, and the weights assigned to them, tend to be arbitrary. Subjective surveys of “life satisfaction” have been attracting growing interest—especially since the evidence is that people in different countries and cultures cite similar criteria for being contented—but getting comparable surveys across many countries is hard and there is too much margin for error for a truly objective quality-of-life index.

So ours takes a new approach. We use life-satisfaction surveys (assembling the average scores for 74 countries) as a starting point for weighting the various factors that determine quality of life. A regression analysis suggests that as many as nine indicators have a significant influence, and can be turned into an equation explaining more than 80% of the variation in countries’ life-satisfaction scores. The main factor is income, but other things are also important: health, freedom, unemployment, family life, climate, political stability and security, gender equality, and family and community life. We feed the factors into the equation, measuring them using forecasts for 2005 where possible (in four cases) and latest data for slower-changing indicators, such as family life and political freedom. The resulting score, on a scale of one to ten, gives the quality-of-life index.”

Now, I am not surprised that no African nation made it to the top 40. Neither am I surprised that Zimbabwe was at the bottom of the ladder. What hurt me a little was the fact that Nigeria was so close to the bottom, and comparable to a country like Haiti! :-S
Nigeria ranked 108, Haiti 110 and Zimbabwe 111.

Though it hurts that Nigeria is at the bottom, it is not exactly surprising.

Nigerian rebels in the Niger DeltaWhy?
Why not? Is it not the same Nigeria where the cost of doing business is so high? No thanks to the erratic power supply by Power Holding Plc (always holding power :-S ), high import tariff, poor security of life & property, endemic corruption, amongst other things.
It is shameful that Africa’s most populous country is in such a sorry state. There is a huge disparity between the rich and the poor, the people in the Niger Delta are not getting thier fair share of development and bird flu is spreading like wild-fire.

It’s not enough to point out Nigeria’s woes, its also important for all stakeholders to put all hands on board, in order to make things change for the better.

Identifying a problem is 50% of the solution.

So long… 😀

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Oluniyi D. Ajao
Oluniyi D. Ajao is an Internet Entrepreneur and Tech Enthusiast based in South Africa. Follow him on twitter @niyyie for more tech updates.

1 Comment

  1. Brazil is not the worst country. It´s a democracy, the largest tropical country of the world, with the 7th largest GDP and 6% of unemployment. Almost everybody lives near an urbanized tropical beach, and the country has a high HDI… Why should it be the WORST? Of course, there are many problems, such as violence and corruption, but it´s not the end of the world.

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