Bulgaria and Armenia lead world in 'suffering,' poll indicates

Dec. 2, 2013 at 11:56 AM
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PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 2 (UPI) -- Bulgaria and Armenia had the dubious distinction in 2012 of leading the world in suffering, a survey released by Gallup Monday indicated.

Bulgaria lead the world in suffering for the third straight year, with 39 percent of Bulgarians rating their lives poorly enough to be considered "suffering," results indicated, followed by Armenia, where 37 percent of its population rated their lives as suffering.

Following closely were Cambodia, Haiti, Hungary, Malagasy, Macedonia and Iran, which all reported more than 30 percent of adults rated their conditions low.

Gallup classifies respondents as "thriving," "struggling," or "suffering" based on how they rate their current and future lives on a scale of zero to 10 based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale. The Princeton, N.J., polling agency said it considers people to be suffering if they rate their current lives a 4 or lower and their lives in five years a 4 or lower.

In 20 out of 143 countries and areas surveyed in 2012, at least a quarter of the adult population rated their lives low enough to be considered suffering, Gallup said. Worldwide, one in seven adults was suffering in 2012, results indicated.

Suffering was 2 percent or less in 17 countries and areas, which Gallup said tended to be wealthier and more developed, including Thailand, Venezuela, Nigeria and Libya. Four percent of Americans ranked themselves low enough to be considered suffering in 2012.

Results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews with about 1,000 adults per country. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of error ranged from 1.7 percentage points to 5.6 percentage points.

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