April 19 (UPI) -- A Gallup poll shows that 13 percent of Venezuelans rated their lives positively in 2016, a 44 percent decrease from 2012 -- a year prior to Nicolas Maduro assuming the presidency.
Thirteen percent of Venezuelans said they rated their lives positively enough to be considered "thriving," as opposed to 28 percent who said they were "suffering." The remaining 59 percent of Venezuelans say they are "struggling."
It is the first time since Gallup began conducting the poll in 2006 that more Venezuelans considered themselves to be "suffering" than "thriving."
"The new low in the percentage of Venezuelans whose ratings are thriving comes amid dramatic political and economic upheaval that continues to unfold in Latin America's fifth-largest country," Gallup said in a statement. "Anti-government protests broke out in early April after the increasingly unpopular president and the Supreme Court attempted to strip the nation's congress of its power."
In the same poll, 91 percent of Venezuelans said the country's economy is "getting worse," compared to 5 percent who said the economy is "getting better." In 2012, 22 percent of Venezuelans said the economy was "getting worse," compared to 41 percent who said it was getting better.
The South American country is facing a political, security and economic crisis in which basic goods such as food and medicine are in short supply, unavailable or unaffordable. Venezuela has one of the highest homicide rates in the world.
In the poll, 80 percent of Venezuelans also said there have been times in the past year when they did not have enough money to buy food for themselves or their family, which is on par with Central African Republic's 83 percent and Malawi's 82 percent.
The Gallup poll's results are based on face-to-face interviews conducted from July 7 until Sept. 8 with 1,000 Venezuelans aged 15 and older. The poll has a 4.1 percent margin of error.