A global survey published this week by Gallup indicates negative emotions surged worldwide in 2017, hitting their highest level since researchers began looking at the data more than a decade ago.
Gallup’s 2018 Global Emotions Report was based on surveys of 154,000 interviews with adults in more than 145 countries.
“On a global level, the world’s emotions took a negative turn in 2017. In fact, the score of 30 on the Negative Experience Index is the highest Gallup has ever recorded. Collectively, the world is more stressed, worried, sad and in pain today than we’ve ever seen it,” said Gallup Managing Editor Mohamed S. Younis.
The survey, which has been held annually since 2005, checks both positive and negative emotions experienced the previous day.
For negative emotions “more than one in three people said they experienced a lot of worry (38 percent) or stress (37%), and three in 10 experienced a lot of physical pain (31%),” the survey said. “At least one in five experienced sadness (23%) or anger (20%).”
It said that reports on worry, stress, sadness and physical pain were up and anger remained unchanged from the previous year.
The most negative emotions were reported in the Central African Republic with a Negative Experience Index score of 61, while the lowest (and thus best) scores were registered in Kyrgyzstan and Taiwan with 16.
The positive emotion index was down slightly this year. Paraguay came up top with 85 points (with South America generally leading the positive emotion index) while Afghanistan was at the bottom with 48 points.
Israel was not mentioned in the report.
Gallup said the margin of sampling error ranged from ±2.1 percentage points to ±5.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.