27 Apr 2019

World is angry, stressed, but New Zealanders mostly happy, says Gallup report

4:03 pm on 27 April 2019

While people around the world are becoming more angry, stressed and worried, New Zealanders are faring well emotionally.

Happy family - father, mother, baby son hold hands and run with fun along edge of sunset sea on black sand beach. Active parents and people outdoor activity on tropical summer vacations with children

New Zealand ranked sixth equal in the world for people experiencing enjoyment in their day. Photo: 123RF

The annual Gallup Global Emotions Report interviewed about 150,000 people in more than 140 countries about their positive and negative experiences.

New Zealand came in sixth equal for enjoyment, with 86 percent saying they had experienced enjoyment the previous day. The top score for enjoyment went to Paraguay with 91 percent, and the bottom to Sierra Leone, with just 41 percent.

While 82 percent of Kiwis reported smiling or laughing, 91 percent did in the top scoring Nigeria. Those in Afghanistan were least likely to have smiled, with just 36 percent reporting smiles or laughter.

Respect was experienced all day by 92 percent of New Zealanders. People in Ecuador felt most widely respected, with 97 percent feeling plenty of respect. Afghanistan fared worst, with just 48 percent feeling respected.

New Zealanders had the fourth lowest score for anger, with only 9 percent reporting anger the previous day. Estonia had the lowest rate at 6 percent, while Armenians experienced the highest rate of anger at 45 percent.

Only 16 percent of New Zealanders reported feeling sad, compared to 54 percent in Chad, which had the highest sadness score. Taiwan did best in the sadness stakes, with only 5 percent feeling sad.

Stress and worry was reported by 31 percent of New Zealanders. Turkmenistan had the most relaxed population, with only 10 percent reporting stress, while Greeks scored worst, with 59 percent feeling stressed. A massive 63 percent in Mozambique reported being worried, while only 12 percent of Taiwanese said they were worrying.

frustrated young business man working on laptop computer at office

People in the United States and Greece were more stressed than those in Chad, where many negative experiences were reported. Photo: 123rf

While 31 percent of New Zealanders said they experienced physical pain the previous day, the rate was low compared with the 66 percent of people in pain in Chad. Vietnamese were the least likely to report pain, with only 14 percent suffering.

About 70 percent of Kiwis were well-rested, compared with 86 percent in highest scoring Mongolia and 28 percent in the lowest scoring Kuwait.

While 66 percent of New Zealanders reported learning something new or interesting, 75 percent did in El Salvador and just 22 percent in Bangladesh.

Globally, a third of people said they suffered stress, while at least one in five experienced sadness or anger.

The most negative country was Chad, followed by Niger. The most positive country was Paraguay, the report said.

The United States was the 39th most positive country, the United Kingdom was 46th and India ranked 93rd.

About 71 percent of people said they experienced a considerable amount of enjoyment the day before the survey.

The poll found that levels of stress were at a new high, while levels of worry and sadness also increased. About 39 percent of those polled said they had been worried the day before the survey, and 35 percent were stressed.

Top 5 countries with highest positive experiences

  • Paraguay
  • Panama
  • Guatemala
  • Mexico
  • El Salvador

Top 5 countries with highest negative experiences

  • Chad
  • Niger
  • Sierra Leone
  • Iraq
  • Iran

Latin American countries including Paraguay, Panama and Guatemala topped the list of positive experiences, where people reported "feeling a lot of positive emotions each day."

The poll claims it is reflective of the cultural tendency in Latin America to "focus on life's positives".

Chad had the highest score for negative experiences. More than seven in 10 Chadians said they had struggled to afford food at some point in the past year. As many as 61 percent of people in the country said they had experienced physical pain.

The country suffers from inadequate infrastructure and internal conflict, while health and social conditions compare unfavourably with those elsewhere in the region.

Despite Chad's high score for negative experiences, people in the US and Greece were more stressed than Chadians.

Greece had the most stressed population in the world with 59 percent saying they experienced stress on the day before the poll. Around 55 percent of US adults said they were stressed.


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