2020 is world’s ‘most stressful year’; Philippines with second highest positive experiences


July 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines (The Filipino Connection) — The world was at its angriest, saddest and most worried emotional disposition during pandemic year 2020, results of the latest Global Emotions Report of polling firm Gallup showed.

The Negative Experience Index of this Gallup Emotions Report yielded a 32% score coming from adults (15 years old and above) who were randomly surveyed from 115 countries and areas in 2020 and early 2021.

This NEI score for 2020 is the highest since Gallup started the Global Emotions survey in 2006. Respondents were asked if they experienced five “feelings during a lot of the day yesterday”. These are: physical pain, worry, sadness, stress and anger.

The 32% capped off a decade that the NEI score is high, writes Gallup’s Global Managing Partner Jon Clifton. In 2011, the NEI score was 24% until the score became 31% in pre-pandemic 2019.

Gallup wrote that half of those employed last year said they earned less incomes while nearly a third of respondent claimed they lost their jobs. Eight in ten people claimed that COVID-19 “affected them in some way,” the latest Global Emotions Report also showed.

These negative emotions came at the heels of numerous lockdowns and area quarantines across the world, and the domino of economic recessions in many countries last year.

Around 40% of respondents got worried or stressed while another 29% had experienced physical pain “during a lot of the day before”. Some 27 and 24% of respondents experienced sadness and anger, respectively, the Gallup Global Emotions Report showed.

In contrast, the Positive Experiences Index (PEI) score for 2020 reached its highest at 71% for the sixth time. This score came after randomly-selected respondents, this time coming from 116 countries and areas, were asked five questions about their positive feelings the day before. These questions were if they feel well rested, if they smiled or laughed, if they did an interesting thing, if they were treated with respect, and if they felt enjoyment.

The 71% PEI score was attainted from 2013 to 2015 and from 2018 to 2019.

Some 72% of respondents felt well-rested and had experienced enjoyment. About 70% smiled or laughed a lot, while 86% of respondents felt they were treated with respect by other people. Just a shade below half of respondents (49%) did something interesting.

Ecuador and the Philippines (82% and 81%, respectively) got the two highest positive experience index scores worldwide, while Iraq (53%) and Lebanon (51%) earned the two highest negative experience index scores.

The NEI and PEI form part of the annual Gallup World Poll, which hosts several indices that “span multiple economic, political, and social topics that correlate with real-world outcomes”.


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