2017 most miserable year while Central African Republic most negative country in the world, report

  • September 14, 2018

Year 2017 was the world’s most miserable year in more than a decade and war-torn Central African Republic was the most negative country, according to Gallup’s Annual Global Emotions Report 2018.

The survey that took into account the feelings and emotions of more than 154,000 people in more than 145 countries revealed that people experienced sadness, stress, worry, anger and physical pain more frequently in 2017 than in previous years. The year was marred by humanitarian crisis, political divisions and violent wars and protests across the world.

Renewed fighting between armed groups in Central African Republic (CAR), which replaced Iraq as the worst country in the world, forced tens of thousands from their homes in 2017. Negative experiences spiked in 2017 in CAR, with 76% of residents experiencing physical pain and nearly as many (74%) reporting that they worried a lot the previous day — both percentages are the highest on record for any country in the past decade.

As per the report, CAR was one of 11 countries where the majority of the population was in a lot of physical pain the previous day.

With the exception of Egypt and Iraq, nearly all of these countries are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Given that sub-Saharan Africa is such a large and heterogeneous region, no single explanation is sufficient to explain the rise in negative experiences. However, among many of the countries in which the index has risen the most, long-term conflict and instability have created growing healthcare crises.

The bulk of the countries worldwide with the highest Negative Experience Index scores in 2017 are in sub-Saharan Africa, including Central African Republic, South Sudan, Chad, Sierra Leone, Niger and Liberia.

In each of these countries, a majority of residents say they experienced physical pain for much of the previous day; similar proportions say they experienced worry for much of the day. Not coincidentally, this list includes four of the countries in which residents are most likely to say they have health problems that prevent them from doing things people their age can normally do.

CAR has been plagued by sectarian violence since 2013, with clashes between armed groups surging in 2017. The conflict has destroyed many healthcare facilities in CAR and caused medical workers to flee, leaving many residents without basic care and allowing preventable diseases like malaria to spread unchecked. Many roads are unusable, and aid workers are often forced to negotiate with militia groups to get access to displaced people living in camps.

In 2015, the United Nations said the situation in CAR was at risk of becoming “the largest forgotten humanitarian crisis of our time.”

On the positive side, at least 70% of people worldwide experienced a lot of enjoyment, smiled or laughed a lot, felt well-rested and felt treated with respect yesterday.

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