The World’s Most (and Least) Emotional Countries

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The Least Emotional Countries

10.Kyrgyzstan
> Pct. reporting all of above: 38% (tied-4th highest)
> Life expectancy: 69.4 years
> GDP per capita: $1,070.01
> Higher education enrollment: 48.8%

Just 13% of people in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic, claimed to feel anger, stress, worry or sadness daily in 2011. In recent years there has been significant turmoil in the Central Asian country. In 2010, Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev resigned following violent protests against his administration. The year before, Bakiyev had been elected president for a second term in an election that both his opposition and observers claimed was fraught with ballot box-stuffing. Still, according to another Gallup study, as of last year just 3% of of residents were pessimistic about their lives in the next five years — less than the majority of nations studied.

9. Nepal
> Pct. reporting all of above: 38% (tied-4th highest)
> Life expectancy: 68.7 years
> GDP per capita: $622.50
> Higher education enrollment: N/A

Last year, Nepal’s GDP per capita was just $622.50, also lower than most countries in the world, the nation’s Maoist leadership is currently working towards forming a unified government to hold elections after failing for years to draft a constitution. According to Gallup, just 8% of women that wished to work in Nepal were employed either full time or part time, lower than nearly every other country in the world. Despite these troubles, just 6% of citizens last year expected their lives to be worse in five years, while just 22% say they have negative feelings daily.

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8. Kazakhstan
> Pct. reporting all of above: 38% (tied-4th highest)
> Life expectancy: 68.3 years
> GDP per capita: $11,167.01
> Higher education enrollment: 40.8%

Kazakhstan’s economy has gotten much stronger in recent years. The unemployment rate in the ex-Soviet republic was 5.4% as of 2011, which was down from more than 7% in 2007 and more than 10% in 2001. Annual inflation has hovered in the 7% to 8% range during the past several years, but it is down from more than 17% in 2008. Although residents are not exhibiting strong emotions, they are not pessimistic about their future either. Only 5% expect their lives to be worse in the next five years, which is among the lowest rate among all countries.

7. Belarus
> Pct. reporting all of above: 38% (tied-4th highest)
> Life expectancy: 70.4 years
> GDP per capita: $5,844.66
> Higher education enrollment: 83.0%

In 2011, Belarus had the world’s highest inflation rate. Average consumer prices rose 53.2% year-over-year, more than twice as much as any other country. The former Soviet republic is run by president Alexander Lukashenko, who is often criticized as a dictator. Yet many residents have remained emotionally indifferent, according to Gallup’s survey. One possible reason could be that, in many ways, life has improved in recent years: enrollment in higher education increased from 55.9% of the age appropriate population in 2001 to 83% in 2010, while the country’s poverty rate fell from 28.9% in 2001 to 5.4% in 2009.

6. Ukraine
> Pct. reporting all of above: 38% (tied-4th highest)
> Life expectancy: 70.3 years
> GDP per capita: $3,623.94
> Higher education enrollment: 79.5%

The global recession was especially hard on Ukraine’s economy. The ex-Soviet nation’s GDP fell by 14.8% in 2009, more than almost any other country in the study except Latvia and Lithuania. At the same time, Ukraine’s unemployment rate jumped from 6.4% in 2008 to 8.8% in 2009. It has only slowly begun to get closer to pre-recession levels. The current presidential administration is requiring citizens to convert foreign money into the national currency in an attempt to stabilize the economy. Perhaps in response to the fact that many residents often use the U.S. dollar in place of the national currency, the hryvnia, according to the Financial Times. Despite these struggles, 15% of Ukrainians surveyed by Gallup last year were pessimistic about the next five years.