A better 2020 year is anticipated by 37% of the global population, while one in four take a pessimistic view on the coming year, according to the End of the Year Poll of Gallup International Association, the oldest global tracking study in the world launched in 1977 by Dr. George Gallup
People living in the Middle East are predominantly pessimistic (52%), while those living in India and West Asia are predominantly optimistic.
On a country by country level, the most optimistic citizens concerning the new year are in Nigeria (73%), Peru and Albania (70%), Kazakhstan (67%) and Armenia (62%). On the pessimistic scale, the ranking is headed by Lebanon (76%), Hong Kong (68%), Jordan (60%) and Italy (59%).
The global hope and despair index are strongly influenced by the age and education – younger people (up to 34 years of age) and people with a higher education level are significantly more optimistic. Religion, in that respect, is not a deciding factor, with a bold exception – Hindu people are strongly optimistic “by nature”.
Western Europe is the most pessimistic region after the Middle East, while non-EU European countries are almost two times more optimistic than the westerners. Americans are significantly more confident than the Russians in their expectations for a better new year. Nigeria – with the greatest population in Africa – lead this ranking every year.
For decades Gallup International Association has been measuring the perception of personal happiness around the globe. In the last couple of years, usually about one out of two inhabitants of the planet declare they are either very or somewhat happy. This year’s results are no exception.
The top five countries according to the global happiness index are Columbia (88 points), Indonesia (86 points), Ecuador (85 points) and Kazakhstan (83 points), followed by Nigeria and the Philippines with 78 points each. The least happy countries are Jordan (-38 points), Lebanon (-15 points), Syria (-7 points), followed by Hong Kong and Iraq with 5 points each. Note that many of these countries have witnessed significant protests over the course of 2019.
Comparison to previous years shows that significantly less people in Russia, Hong Kong, Lebanon and Mexico are reporting happiness, while the latter is increasing strongly in Azerbaijan, Ecuador, Ukraine and Romania.
Kantcho Stoychev, President of GIA: “Our global hope and despair index, reflects first of all, the political and economic situation and the direction of development in every respective country through the eyes of
the ordinary people, while the happiness index reveals personal perceptions, closely related to a given national character. It seems that people around the world are about four times happier in their personal lives compared to their lives as citizens of their countries. Kazakhs, Armenians, Indians, Vietnamese, just to name a few, are both happy personally and socially optimistic, while Bosnians, Polish, Koreans and Spaniards are among those who report high levels of personal happiness, combined with high levels of social pessimism. Unhappy personally and socially pessimistic are, for example, the Lebanese and Jordanians, but Syrians and Iraqis are exactly on the opposite end of the scale – they show signs of social optimism, while unhappiness dominates their personal lives.
In general, social optimism and personal happiness are not related to the wealth of the respective country. The current political situation and its perspectives are the dominating factor.”