Julie Ray, Gallup INC. - Where Are People Happiest?

Julie Ray, Gallup INC.
Where Are People Happiest?


Can you think of a bolder claim than this?  “We’re the only ones in the world who can reach every person on the planet.”

That is the claim made by Gallup Inc., the American analytics and advisory company famous for its public opinion polling since it was founded by George Gallup in 1935, and verified by a variety of global surveys Gallup, Inc. does for the United Nations, among many worldwide organizations.

Gallup still does the kind of political, issue or brand choice polling that most people associate with the term, but they also do global measurements of much broader concepts like happiness and emotional well-being, the sense of personal security, confidence in the institutions of law and order or the desire to move somewhere else.

Here are a few tidbits from Gallup’s 2019 research:

The most insecure people on earth, by a wide margin, are the citizens of Afghanistan, whose sense of general endangerment dropped way below that of residents of the next worse place, Venezuela.  Just 1 in 8 Afghans reported they felt safe walking at night in their own neighborhoods.

And, Gallup’s pollsters found good reasons for the Afghans’ judgments. 50% of Afghans said they had property or money stolen from them or a family member in the past year and a record 29% said someone in the family had been assaulted or mugged.

Who feels safest?  People living in three countries where both law and order can be oppressive, Singapore, Tajikistan and the United Arab Emirates, and one where it’s more consensual, Norway.

Which country has the happiest citizens?  The winner here, also by a significant margin, is Finland. Next happiest?  Gallup found the answers were the folks who live in Denmark, Norway and Iceland.  Of the 156 countries covered by the Gallup pollsters, the U.S. ranked #19 in happiness.


Julie Ray is the Managing Editor for World News at Gallup.








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