New Report Shows The Most and Least Emotional Countries

January 1st 2016

Kyle Jaeger

Did you feel well-rested yesterday? Did you smile or laugh a lot? Or did you feel worried or angry or sad? If you answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, congratulations, you have emotions!

But not every person experiences the same emotions on a given day. In fact, the populations of some countries are way more emotional than others, as Gallup's annual poll, the 2015 Global Emotions Report, goes to show.

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The questions above are a sample of those posed to nearly 153,000 people in 148 countries last year. Gallup has surveyed the emotional landscape of the world since 2009, and while the results can be sometimes difficult to interpret, there are some identifiable trends of note.

Here's a map of the global, emotional landscape, according to Gallup.


Gallup gages the emotional status of a country based on how survey participants respond to 20 questions on what it calls the "Positive and Negative Experience Indexes." Those indexes include casual questions about how a person felt the day before the survey, and every "yes" answer (positive or negative) is considered an indicator of emotion.

What you might notice right off the bat is the apparent emotionality of countries in Latin America. Bolivia and El Salvador lead the pack in terms of emotions, followed by Ecuador, the Philippines, and Nicaragua. This has been a consistent theme since Gallup first started this project.


"On average, nearly six in 10 residents in each of these countries report experiencing positive or negative emotions the previous day," Gallup wrote. "Post-Soviet states largely dominate the list of countries at the other end of the spectrum, where no more than four in 10 residents report experiencing any of these feelings."

Also on the non-emotional end of the spectrum, you find countries such as Bangladesh, which according to this Gallup survey is apparently the least emotional country in the world. You also find Azerbaijan, Georgia, Mongolia, and Belarus.

But here's some good news: the world's positive index remained stable in 2014.


That's right, about 71 percent of people worldwide said they "experienced a lot of enjoyment, smiled or laughed a lot, felt well-rested and felt treated with respect."

As is reasonably expected, countries that have undergone conflict in recent years such as Sudan reported some of the lowest levels of positive emotions. The country that scored highest on the positive experience index was Paraguay (89 percent), whereas only 49 percent of Sudanese people reported the same.


The U.S. ranks high in emotions, but didn't make the top-10 cut of most emotional countries. Survey respondents in the country appeared particularly positive, however.

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"Personal freedoms and the presence of social networks are also highly predictive of scores on the Positive Experience Index," Gallup wrote. "The latter helps to explain why people from poor countries in Latin America still seem to live such positive lives."