Society

The World's Most Pessimistic Countries

The citizens of Greece appear to be most pessimistic about their future as per the results of a Gallup poll.

Pessimism And Society

People around the world share one common trait: the desire for a better future. This hope, however, is often filled with uncertainty. Thoughts of the future range from what the future will bring on a personal or family level to a national or global level. In some parts of the world, the general outlook towards the future is positive. Many people believe their personal situation, the future of their children, and the situation of the national economy will all change for the better. Other individuals, however, have a much more pessimistic outlook.

Lots of factors contribute to a negative opinion of the future, including illnesses, lack of natural resources, economic crisis, war, and poverty. In many places around the world, these factors have a stronger presence in the society, resulting in a pessimistic opinion about the state of the future. This article takes a closer look at the most pessimistic populations in the world, according to a 2012 Gallup survey. Poll respondents answered questions concerning their outlook for their personal and national economic situation

Pessimism In Europe

Of the top 10 most pessimistic countries in the world, European nations hold 7 spots. In each of these countries, 25% or more of the population responded to questions about the future in a negative manner. This response is somewhat understandable given that this area of the world was hit particularly hard by the global economic recession and is now experiencing a debt crisis. These European countries have experienced a severe drop in gross domestic products between 2010 and 2011, resulting in more severe economic regression than that seen in other areas of the world. Of the European countries on this list, Greece had the highest rate of pessimism with 38% of the population believing that their futures would actually be worse in 5 years compared to the present. This is followed by the Czech Republic (33%), Slovenia (32%), Hungary (29%), Spain (25%), Cyprus (25%), and Poland (25%). Unemployment in both Greece and the Czech Republic increased dramatically between 2009 and 2011, which is one of the possible factors that contribute to the sense of impending disaster felt by residents in these countries.

Pessimism In The Caribbean

Haiti is the only Caribbean nation on this list. The populations of the tropical Caribbean islands are usually associated with relaxed attitudes and high levels of happiness. Residents of Haiti, however, are the exception to this association. In this country, 26% of the residents believe their life will be worse in 5 years than it is now, making this the 5th most pessimistic country in the world. This country is considered the poorest in Americas and has been fighting disease, corruption, and lack of public services for years. Additionally, its economic progress is often hindered by constant political instability and damage from hurricanes. In 2010, residents of this country experienced an 8% decrease in purchasing power parity of the GDP.

Pessimism In Asia

Taiwan and Singapore are the only Asian countries on the top 10 list of the most pessimistic countries in the world. In Taiwan, 26% of the residents hold a pessimistic outlook of the future, making it equal to Haiti. Singapore, on the other hand, comes in the last place on the top 10 list of the most pessimistic countries. Here, 24% of the residents believe their future will be worse than their current situation.

The World's 10 Most Pessimistic Countries

RankCountry% of population rating their future lives as worse than current lives, (as of 2012)
1Greece38%
2Czech Republic33%
3Slovenia32%
4Hungary29%
5Haiti26%
6Taiwan26%
7Spain25%
8Cyprus25%
9Poland25%
10Singapore24%

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