Iranians shop for items used to celebrate Noruz at the Tajrish traditional bazaar in northern Tehran. (AP)

April 30, 2019

“Did you learn or do something interesting yesterday?” was one of the questions U.S. analytics and advisory company Gallup asked more than 154,000 people in more than 145 countries to track the feelings and emotions of different nations in 2018.

For many, it came as no surprise that the people of Iran ranked fifth among the most-stressed countries in 2018, ahead of Albania, Tanzania, Philippines, and Greece, respectively.

Iran is in the grips of a serious economic crisis, with very high inflation and unemployment. The people are also under the pressure of social restrictions, with a strict dress code and lack of freedoms in general.

Americans were shocked to find themselves in the seventh position, ranking just after Iran and Sri Lanka.

According to the results, “More Americans were stressed, angry, and worried last year than they have been at most points during the past decade.”

When Gallup asked people about how they felt the previous day, a majority of Americans (55 percent) in 2018 said they had experienced stress “a lot.”

However, the news isn’t all bad for Americans since the report also shows that in 2018 they generally had more positive experiences than the rest of the world.

Americans managed to stay out of the top 10 “angry” nations in 2018, while Iranians ranked third after Iraq and Armenia, followed by Palestinian Territories, Morocco, Turkey, Niger, Chad, Libya, and Pakistan.

Gallup has been filing the report on global anger and stress since 2015, and Iran has always been in the top 10 countries of the list.

As expected, 49 percent of people around the world admitted they did not learn anything appealing in the day before.

Concerning “positive experiences” the previous day, nine out of 10 were from the Americas. With 85 points, Paraguay and Panama ranked first, while Afghanistan garnered only 43 points at the bottom of the table, five points less than Iran.

Iran also managed to keep its spot among the top five countries with the most “negative experiences.” Only people in Chad, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Iraq had more “negative experiences” than Iranians.

In Chad, a North African nation officially considered the country with the most negative emotions in 2018, more than seven out of 10 maintained they had “trouble paying for food” at some point in the previous year, and 61 percent experienced “physical pain.”

Nonetheless, Chad’s stress levels still stood at lower levels than that of the United States, with 51 percent of those polled experiencing feelings of high stress the previous day.

Out of 13 nations with the most negative experiences, 10 are located in sub-Saharan Africa.

Based on the new report, at least 70 percent of people worldwide experienced a lot of enjoyment, smiled or laughed a lot, felt well rested, and felt treated with respect the day before.

Gallup insists that while standard metrics and logistic models can only estimate how people are living their lives, the data in the report tracks this information directly from the people who are living them. The report, in its fourth year, offers leaders insights into the health of societies that they cannot gather from economic measures alone.

Gallup has admitted the overall trend has not been promising since “the world took a negative turn in 2017, with global levels of stress, worry, sadness, and pain hitting new highs.”

RFE/RL

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.