So a while ago, a global happiest study came out. It ranked Botswana as least happy country in the world.
The three main measures were 1) life expectancy, 2) well-being, and 3) ecological footprint. Botswana did the worst out of any country on personal well-being, and not great on the other two indicators.
Now I don’t know how valid these measures are. For instance I know that all my jet setting around the world has given me a huge carbon footprint, and I’d like to change that, but I’m not depressed over it. So I don’t know if ecological footprint should be in a happiness study.
But I do agree that people in Botswana have a poor personal well-being. People here drink a lot of alcohol. They do not exercise generally, and many are overweight. People do not treat their sexual partners well (now this is a generalization), and there are lots of cultural aphorisms about how a man can’t control his sexual appetite, and thus will cheat. Of course there is HIV/AIDS, which means that 1/4 of the people in this country have a debilitating illness, and the other 75% have a friend or family member with a debilitating illness. There is not a lot of opportunity for advancement unless you have top marks in school. Yeah, I guess I can see where these numbers came from.
But at the same time there are a lot of beautiful things in this culture to celebrate, and generally the people I meet seem happy and I’ve had a lot of happy experiences with new friends here. So in retrospect let me throw this study out. The authors have obviously never been here.