WIN International, the world’s leading association in market research and polling, has published the Annual WIN World Survey (WWS – 2019) exploring the views and beliefs of 29575 people from 40 countries across the globe about their quality of life and on the population’s mood. The mood index was obtained from a psychological test, “The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing scales”, which evaluates 7-items with a scale from 1 to 5 that summed results in a mood index.
The main goal of the WWS is to investigate thoughts, expectations, worries, and perceptions related to relevant topics for society and business. It becomes clear how all of these can change in times of crises, like the one we are living right now.
The spread of Covid-19, besides presenting many challenges to the health care systems and to the economic structure of many countries, it also deeply impacts society at so many levels.
The WWS data were collected between October and December 2019, and the interesting results entailing quality of life and the population’s general mood are probably the most affected now: even those who are lucky enough not to experience any direct consequence from the Coronavirus are afflicted by quarantine and general lockdowns; and people who suffered the loss of someone or something (e.g. their job) due to the virus are even more affected. All these significant changes are inevitably changing people’s feelings as well.
As researchers, we questioned the meaning of our data: the picture of the society deriving from them does not reflect anymore the society we are living in right now. However, it provides insights on what people worldwide used to think before Covid-19: besides being a hopeful picture of what society might look like in the future again, it presents an interesting point of view for future research and for comparison with data coming from Covid-19 studies. WIN members all over the world are contributing with so many interesting research on the topic of Coronavirus (you can find them all here: https://www.winmr.com/research-and-studies-on-covid-19/). The WWS section on mood and quality of life might definitely be used as a comparison or as a valuable reference for studies focusing on pre and post Covid-19 perceptions.
Quality of life
More than half of the population (60% net score, TTB-BTB) enjoyed a good quality of life; no significant differences were found between men and women. Of the 40 countries surveyed, 25 of them were above the global net score: Nigeria (93%), Ecuador (92%) and Vietnam (90%) were the countries whose respondents declared to have a high quality of life.
On the other hand, at the end of the ranking, we find countries from Asia and MENA region: Palestinian Territories (-7%), followed by Japan (7%) and Hong Kong (17%), are the countries in which the largest number of the population is dissatisfied with their quality of life.
In general, the higher the level of respondents’ education, the higher the perceived quality of life. Students and retired people are the most optimistic, which is reflected when considering age categories as well: young people (18 to 24) and people over 65 years old are the most satisfied with their quality of life.
It will be interesting to compare these data with future research on the coronavirus crisis: will the level of education still have such an influence when asked about the quality of life, or is Covid-19 leveling off educational differences? Will there still be a correlation between age and life satisfaction? These questions remain open to future studies.
The mood index evaluates the state of well-being of a person during the two weeks prior to the survey. Of the 7 aspects evaluated, 66% of people declared that they felt able to make their own decisions, while 19% didn’t feel optimistic about the future.
The global index revealed a neutral mood (22.8). Very few countries showed a high mood index, although there are several countries above the average. Ecuador is one of the 4 countries with the highest mood index and it ranked first among all countries (26.50), followed by India (25.43), Slovenia (25.25), and Pakistan (25.04).
On the other side, there are a few countries with a lower mood index: in particular, Ireland (16.97), Japan (19.60), and Malaysia (20.40).
Although there are several factors that might have affected people´s mood, the index is a good indicator of the situation people were facing in their countries before the spread of Covid-19 virus. The global crisis will definitely increase the need to work towards better mental health support and these data provide a reliable benchmark.