Despite vast economic growth and technological developments, certain countries underperform in critical areas affecting the wellbeing of their citizens. The Misery Index, an economic indicator created by economist Arthur Okun, combines unemployment rates with inflation to indicate economic stability and thus, the desirability to live in a given country.
Recent calculations of the Misery Index have revealed shocking statistics about some nations where life seems notably more challenging compared to others. These rankings underscore the vast disparities in economic stability and outlook globally and can act as a tool for understanding where the most significant improvements in areas like economic policy, governance, and social infrastructure are needed.
Key findings from the data include:
This data paints a stark picture of global socio-economic disparities and underscores the work to be done in raising living standards for millions of persons around the world. It calls for concerted economic and political actions from nations, international organizations, and policy-makers. As these challenges are tackled, the Misery Index offers a critical benchmark against which to gauge progress.
Leading the pack is Venezuela, a South American nation grappling with high inflation and unemployment, scoring an extraordinary 3,828. Life in Venezuela is characterized by shortages of essential goods, rampant crime, and political unrest, making it a tough place to call home.
Next is Zimbabwe, with a Misery Index score of 547. Zimbabwe has a long history of economic mismanagement leading to hyperinflation, unemployment, and a severely downgraded quality of life.
Sudan takes the third spot with an index score of 194. People here face the hardships associated with political instability, economic downturns, and a lack of basic services.
The Middle Eastern country of Lebanon ranks fourth, scoring a 177 on the Misery Index. Known for its rich history and culture, Lebanon is currently facing one of the worst economic crises in the world, leading to increased prices and unemployment.
In fifth place, Suriname suffers economic hardship, with a score of 145. Economic mismanagement and corruption have led to high inflation and unemployment rates, affecting living conditions.
Sixth in this listing is Libya, with a score of 106. Political instability and internal conflict, coupled with economic difficulties, have made Libya a challenging place to live.
Argentina, seventh on the list, struggles with a score of 95. Despite its rich culture and resources, Argentina faces economic issues that adversely affect its citizens' living standards.
Iran, featuring eighth on our list, faces economic inequities and sanctions resulting in a high index score of 92.
Ranked ninth, Angola with a Misery Index score of 61, faces challenges like high inflation, unemployment, and poverty, which make it difficult for many to sustain a satisfactory standard of living.
Lastly, rounding off this list is Madagascar, with a score of 60. Despite its natural beauty, the African island nation struggles mainly with employment opportunities impacting the quality of life.
The ten countries with the highest Misery Index are:
To sort the data in the table, click on the column headers.