Special Report

Most Miserable Countries in the World

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5. Yemen
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 57.9%
> Residents who say they have social support: 74.4%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 82.8%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 54.8 years

Yemen, a country at the most southern tip of the Arab peninsula, is deemed the poorest and least stable in the region. While its neighbors enjoy copious oil reserves, this country has very little to show for it — zero exports, no water, and little infrastructure. Yemen is also in the midst of a civil war since 2015, with government forces backed by Saudi Arabia and a coalition of several states. There have been massive civilian casualties, war crimes, and other human rights abuses

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4. Tanzania
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 77.9%
> Residents who say they have social support: 71.1%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 76.7%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 56.0 years

Undeniably, the beauty of Tanzania attracts tourists from all corners of the Earth. It is home to Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti National Park. Unfortunately, Tanzanians are reeling from great losses of life because of a lack of health experts. Tanzanians suffer from various blood disorders such as Sickle Cell Disease, hemophilia, and leukemia.

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3. South Sudan
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 46.8%
> Residents who say they have social support: 55.4%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 75.2%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 49.6 years

So much hope came with South Sudan’s independence in 2011, making it the world’s newest country. But with newness comes fragility, and unfortunately, within two years, the country descended into civil war. In spite of a peace agreement in 2015, thousands of civilians have been killed because of their ethnicity or political alliances. No end is in sight.

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2. Central African Republic
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 63.1%
> Residents who say they have social support: 30.6%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 87.6%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 44.3 years

Central African Republic gained its independence from France in 1960 and since then has struggled. Despite being land-rich in diamonds, gold, oil, and uranium, CAR is one of the poorest nations in the world. Violence dominates; civil strife is ongoing. The terror group Séléka forced President François Bozizé out of power in 2013. The Central African Republic ranks at the bottom of the list of the most miserable countries in residents who say they have social support and healthy life expectancy at birth.

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1. Burundi
> Residents who say they have freedom to make life’s choices: 42.9%
> Residents who say they have social support: 56.2%
> Residents who believe corruption is widespread in their government: 80.6%
> Healthy life expectancy at birth: 48.6 years

Burundi became the unhappiest country in the world this year, overtaking the Central African Republic. Why? To begin with, civil war has been raging in the country for 12 years. In addition, corruption, poverty, repression also are rampant in the country, which became independent in 1962. Burundi exited from the International Criminal Court in 2017 — the first nation ever to do so — after the UN cited it for various human rights violations.