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Kenyans ranked 87th most unhappy people in the world

Happiness is a subjective and multifaceted emotional state characterised by feelings of joy, contentment, satisfaction, and well-being.

It is often described as a positive and pleasurable mental and emotional state.

Happiness can come from a variety of sources, including fulfilling relationships, meaningful accomplishments, personal growth, good health, engaging activities, a sense of purpose, and the experience of positive emotions such as love, gratitude, and laughter.

On the flip side, misery is a state characterised by extreme unhappiness, suffering and distress.

It is the opposite of happiness and represents a deep sense of emotional and psychological pain or discomfort.

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Misery is often caused by various factors such as unfortunate circumstances beyond one’s control, personal struggles, loss, disappointment, loneliness, or physical, mental, and financial hardship.

In a state of misery, people can experience deep sadness, hopelessness, despair, and a lack of enjoyment or fulfillment in life.

They may feel trapped, overwhelmed, or emotionally drained, with little or no respite from their distressing feelings.

Misery can affect one’s overall well-being, relationships, and quality of life, leading to a sense of disconnection, frustration, and loss of purpose.

With this in mind, Hanke’s Annual Misery Index, created by Steve Hanke, modified and ratified by Harvard University, and published by The Wall Street Journal, released its 2022 Annual Misery Index after surveying 157 of the world’s 195 countries in mid-May 2023.

Below are their findings of the top 20 most miserable people, with inflation, unemployment, and high-interest rates being the main contributors to their misery.

Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Syria, Lebanon, and Sudan took the top five positions.

Ranked sixth to tenth were Argentina, Yemen, Ukraine, Cuba, and Turkey.

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Sri Lanka, Haiti, and Angola were 11th, 12th, and 13th, while Tonga, Ghana, and South Africa were 14th, 15th, and 16th. Ranked 17th to 20th were Suriname, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, and Rwanda.

At the bottom of the list in 87th place was Kenya with a misery index of 29.264 and the main factor contributing to its misery was the interest rate on loans.

According to the Business Daily, the Central Bank of Kenya has been gradually increasing lending rates and is key in signaling the price of commercial bank loans. The publication also noted that the central bank had raised the lending rate to a five-year high in 2023 and could end the year at 9.5%.

“We are likely to see further hikes, but the pace of rate hikes will slow as inflation starts to ease. We expect more hikes in 2023, about 75 basis points in total but 25 basis points at a time,” Eva Wanjiku Otieno, the principal Africa strategist at StanChart, told the Business Daily.

High lending rates limit or prevent people from accessing affordable financial credit to finance or expand their businesses, invest, and pay for higher education, among other personal reasons for borrowing from financial institutions.

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