Contented Canadians low on global ranking of angry, worried and stressed countries
Two girls smile as they watch the annual Canada Day parade in Montreal, Saturday, July 1, 2017. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
People of the world are becoming angrier, more worried and stressed, a new global poll reveals.
U.S. firm Gallup asked citizens of more than 140 countries a series of questions about their positive and negative experiences the day before the survey, creating a snapshot of how people were feeling in 2018.
“While overall stress levels dropped two percentage points from the previous year, anger increased by two points — hitting a new high,” authors of the Gallup Global Emotions 2019 report wrote.
“Worry and sadness, which were already at record levels, each increased by one point from the previous year. Experiences of physical pain remained unchanged.”
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To gauge negative experience, pollsters asked interviewees whether they had felt physical pain, worry, sadness, stress and anger the day before the survey.
Some 39 per cent of those polled said they had been worried and 35 per cent had been stressed.
About a third experienced a lot of physical pain and at least one in five experienced sadness or anger.
Meanwhile in Canada
In Canada, just 15 per cent of those asked said they were angry the day before the survey and 21 per cent said they were sad.
Almost half of Canadians had been stressed the day before, some 42 per cent were worried and about a third were in pain.
Gallup compiled the “yes” responses from these five questions into a Negative Experience Index score for each country. The most negative country was Chad, followed by Niger.
In 2018, more than 70 per cent of Chadians said they struggled to afford food at some point in the year prior.
“The elevated percentages on most of the index items kept the score unchanged at a record high of 30,” the authors wrote.
Despite Chad's high score for negative experiences, people in the U.S. and Greece were more stressed than Chadians.
The report is based on more than 151,000 interviews, where people were also asked questions about their positive feelings such as "did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?" and "were you treated with respect?" in a bid to gain an insight into people's daily lives.
Around 71 per cent of people said they experienced a considerable amount of enjoyment the day before the survey.
Some 72 per cent felt well-rested, 74 per cent smiled or laughed a lot and 87 per cent felt treated with respect.
In Canada, positivity levels were high, with enjoyment levels at 84 per cent.
Some 69 per cent of Canadians reported being well-rested, while 66 reported doing something interesting the day before.
A sizable 80 per cent of Canadians said they smiled or laughed a lot the previous day and almost all said they were treated with respect.
“The index score for the world in 2018, 71, is not out of line for scores in the past decade, but it reverses what looked like the start of a downward trend in positive emotions since 2016,” the authors wrote.
Paraguay was the most positive country internationally, with Latin American countries continuing to dominate the happiest ranks.
“Latin Americans may not always rate their lives the best (like the Nordic countries), but they laugh, smile and experience enjoyment like no one else in the world,” according to Jon Clifton, global managing partner at Gallup.
“The answer to whether money truly buys happiness is still far from being understood, but this report gives global thinkers an idea of who is living the best and worst lives in the world.”
The top five countries with the highest positive experiences were:
- El Salvador
The top five countries with highest negative experiences were:
- Sierra Leone
“Each index equips global leaders with insights into the health of their societies that they cannot gather from economic measures alone,” the Washington D.C.-based company said.