Globally, women with young children in the home have endured the brunt of the stress, worry, anger and sadness that people experience. experienced during the 2020 pandemic.
Stress increased in half of the 116 countries surveyed, with “a double-digit increase in stress in 21 countries,” according to the report. This means that nearly 190 million more people around the world experienced significant stress last year compared to previous years.
The illness and death of Covid-19 were obviously a big part of the stress and negative emotions, as was the economic impact of the pandemic, according to the survey.
“Half of those who were working at the time of the pandemic said they were making less money because of COVID-19, and 32% of people said they had lost their jobs,” wrote Jon Clifton, the associate global director of Gallup, in his opening statement on the investigation. .
“In total, 80% of people said COVID-19 affected them in one way or another. ”
Not all countries experienced stress in 2020, the report notes. It ranged from a high of 66% in Peru, “which represents a new record for the country”, to a “low of 13% in Kyrgyzstan, where stress levels were historically low and remained low in 2020” , according to the report.
A negative trend continues
For 15 years in a row, polling giant Gallup has asked people around the world about their positive and negative emotions. For this report, Gallup surveyed nationally representative samples of 160,000 people from 116 countries in 2020 and early 2021.
As in 2019, Iraq led the world on the Negative Experience Index in 2020. Gallup found that 56% of Iraqis said they experienced pain, 51% anger and 50% pain. sadness.
Taiwan scored the lowest on the Negative Emotions Index, the same ranking it achieved in 2019.
Globally, the rise in negative emotions actually started 10 years ago, according to the report. One of the main reasons is political and economic upheaval. Partly for these reasons, people in Lebanon and Turkey reported few positive experiences in the survey.
“The majority of Lebanese have not experienced pleasure in their daily life since 2018, and for Turks, this has been true since 2017,” according to the report.
Besides political and economic turmoil, another reason for the negativity in many countries was the growing belief that governments and businesses are corrupt.
“The majority of people think corruption is prevalent in the governments of 79 out of 101 countries and regions around the world, and a majority in 85 out of 110 countries think this is true for business,” Clifton wrote in his opening remarks .
Income inequality is another factor in how people view their lives, continued Clifton: “Many countries that report high income inequality are also countries that report a lot of negative emotions, like anger.
Resilience has always prevailed
As negative emotions increased, many people around the world showed surprising resilience, according to the survey. For their positive emotion index, the survey group asked about feeling respected and well-rested, doing interesting or enjoyable activities, smiling and laughing.
The results showed that overall, humanity has managed to remain stable in positive emotions despite the the impact of the pandemic – except for laughter and smile.
“Within a year, the percentage of people who said they smiled a lot or laughed a lot the night before rose from 75% to 70%, which is also the lowest Gallup measure ever recorded for this question. “, says the report.
El Salvador led the world in terms of positivity, with an index of 82. Latin American countries have traditionally dominated the positive index, and Nicaragua, Paraguay, and Colombia also scored high. Three Nordic countries, Iceland, Norway and Finland – which have traditionally been in the top 10 of the national happiness rankings – also had high scores.
The United States was not in the top 10 in terms of positivity. But Gallup interviews conducted for the survey in early 2021, around the time the vaccines were approved, found that people’s ratings of their lives had rebounded and reached “all-time highs,” according to the report. .