Emerging Technologies

The world is getting angrier, according to a new poll

Fans wearing rain ponchos are backlit as they watch the sunset from Arthur Ashe Stadium ahead of the mens final between Roger Federer of Switzerland and Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the U.S. Open Championships tennis tournament in New York, September 13, 2015. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri  - TB3EB9E00WFLJ

Taking a dim view: A 2017 poll showed rising levels of anger around the world Image: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Kate Whiting
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
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Behavioural Sciences

If you’re reading this with a niggling sense of dread, you’re not alone. More than a third of the world’s adults are worried or stressed, according to a new poll that’s found 2018 to be a record year for negative emotions.

And we're losing our temper more than ever - 22% of adults admitting they feel angry, a record since Gallup started collecting data in 2005.

Image: Gallup Global Emotions Report

The Gallup Global Emotions Report, which also looked at positive experiences, asked people in more than 140 countries about five negative feelings - pain, worry, sadness, stress and anger - and whether they had felt them the day before the survey.

Here’s what they found:

1. Chad is the most negative country

Poverty-stricken Chad topped the Negative Experience Index with a score of 54. The report said its score “reflects the violence, displacement and the collapse of basic services that have affected thousands of families”. Of those surveyed, 72% said they had struggled to afford food at some point in the previous 12 months. More than half said they had experienced physical pain the day before (66%), had worried a lot (61%) and felt a lot of sadness (54%) and stress (51%). The country has been in recession since 2014.

Image: Gallup Global Emotions Report

2. The world is the angriest it’s ever been

Anger increased by two percentage points from 2017, to a new high of 22%. Armenia tops the poll as the angriest nation, with 45% of people there saying they felt angry yesterday.

3. We’re slightly less stressed

Although 35% overall said they felt stressed yesterday in the 2018 survey, that’s lower by two percentage points than 2017. Greece is the most stressed country for the third year in a row, with 59% of adults answering the survey saying they felt a lot of stress.

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4. Mozambique worries the most

Last year, 63% of adults in Mozambique were worrying a lot the day before the Gallup survey. In the World Economic Forum's Inclusive Development Index 2018, the southern African nation scored the lowest of all the emerging economies included, ranking 74th.

5. It’s not all bad

Sweden is the least sad, with only 12% of people in the country answering yes to the question about feeling sad, while Mexico is the least angry, with just 8% saying they had felt angry the previous day.

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Related topics:
Emerging TechnologiesResilience, Peace and SecurityEconomic Growth
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