Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) — If North Korea is the crying capital of the world, Nigeria holds the aces when it comes to smiling and laughing. It’s not simply anecdotal evidence.
Nigeria has been adjudged a happiness-ridden country at least twice in recent years. In 2003, the UK’s New Scientist magazine conducted a survey that found that Nigeria had the highest percentage of happy people in the world. Seven years later, another survey, a Gallup poll this time, found that Nigeria had the world’s highest rates of optimism.
Now don’t ask me about the methodology of measuring Gross Domestic Happiness, or assembling an Optimism Index. What is not in doubt is this: the appearance of Nigeria — an oil-rich, natural-disaster-starved, fertile-land-suffused country where 70% of the population survives on less than $2 per day — at the top of these surveys, seven years apart, must mean something.
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