Overall, the world is pretty miserable
If you’ve been feeling a little less positive than usual, you’re not alone. According to new figures, people are sadder, angrier and more fearful than ever before.
Analytics firm Gallup released its annual Global State of Emotions report, which revealed that these emotions were at record levels throughout 2018, for the second year in a row.
Overall, the world is just as miserable as it was in 2017, which was the saddest year on record since they started collecting this data in 2006.
Gallup interviewed more than 150,000 people in 140 countries, and found that a quarter of respondents said they experienced a lot of worry the day before the interview, while a third said they were stressed. A further 25 per cent experienced sadness, and 22 per cent were angry.
The country with the most miserable results was Chad in north central Africa, which has been in economic crisis since 2014 with 40 per cent of the population living in poverty. More than seven in 10 Chadians told the researchers that they struggled to afford food at some point in the past year.
The report says: “The country’s overall score at least partly reflects the violence, displacement and the collapse of basic services in parts of Chad that have affected thousands of families.”
Other countries which are have the most negative outlooks include Niger, Sierra Leon, Benin and Liberia.
By contrast, Latin America is home to some of the most positive countries, with Paraguay the happiest, closely followed by Panama, Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador. The single country outside this region that made the most positive list was Indonesia, which has appeared in the top group since 2017.
“The high percentages reporting positive emotions in Latin America at least partly reflect the cultural tendency in the region to focus on life’s positives,” the report explains.
According to the World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country, but that report is based on objective factors such as life expectancy, freedom, GDP and corruption, while the Gallup poll asked people questions like “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?”, “Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?” or “Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about anger?”
Less than half of people worldwide said they learned or did something interesting the day before the interview in 2018. This is up from the 46 per cent measured in 2017, and helped propel the overall index higher in 2018. From 2013 to 2015, the percentage who learned or did something interesting was as high as 51 per cent