25 Miserable Countries in the World

·9 min read

In this article, we will take a look at the 25 miserable countries in the world. You can skip our discussion about our methodology to find out these countries and go directly to 5 Miserable Countries in the World.

What makes people happy or miserable is still a question of immense research in scientific circles. However, various studies have shown that money is definitely a factor, at least to a limited extent. A study by Warwick University that was published in 2001, in which 9000 people were surveyed, found that a financial gain of $69,000 improves the mental wellbeing of people by 0.1 and 0.3 standard deviations.

Similarly, according to an IZA Discussion Paper published in 2004 that studied the household economic panel data of five countries found that changes in the households' finances had statistically significant effects on the level of misery in all the countries.

A study conducted by MIT that analyzed the causal effects of poverty on mental ill-health discovered that although poverty causes mental ill-health and misery in 91% of households, the relationship between income and misery is complicated, as it contains many other factors such as physical health, trauma, and worries.

However, not all hope is lost. Psychologist Steven Pinker famously argues that the world is getting better, as there is less war and violence in the world when compared to the past. Analysts believe that as companies like Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER), LYFT Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) expand their operations and young people begin to secure decent job opportunities online, poverty will reduce.

Methodology

The article has been written using Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 compiled by Steve H. Hanke. The index takes into account economic factors such as unemployment, inflation, bank‐​lending rates, and the percentage change in real GDP per capita. The scores on the index are independent of each other; a higher score on the index indicates a higher level of misery, according to Hanke. The index contained only 95 countries in 2019 but expanded to compare 156 countries in the year 2020. For each of the countries in the article, their score on Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 has been mentioned too.

Photo by Karthikeyan K on Unsplash

With this context in mind, we shall now discuss the 25 miserable countries in the world.

25 Miserable Countries in the World

25. Rwanda

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 10.6

A difficult past marred by civil wars and extreme poverty makes the country's Hanke's misery index high enough to push it amongst the miserable countries in the world.

24. Tanzania

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 11.6

Although Tanzania is a peaceful country in Africa and is popular for its tourism, the people of Tanzania are among the miserable people in the world. The country’s people struggle with extreme poverty, and lethal diseases.

23. The Central African Republic

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 13.2

Poverty, struggle, and ethnic issues remain as widespread as ever in the CAR.

22. Kenya

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 20.8

Despite improving economy and job opportunities, Kenya has still a long way to go before its population experiences prosperity and wealth.

21. Egypt

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 20.9

Egypt ranks 21st in our list of Hanke's Misery index mainly due to its economic struggles and lack of human rights.

However, as the country opens up to the world and companies like Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER), LYFT Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) begin their services in the country, per-capita income is expected to increase in the country in the coming years.

20. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 23.8

Corruption is a serious issue in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since the Bosnian War ended in 1995, the country has not stabilized.

19. Myanmar

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 26.0

Myanmar is in the middle of a political crisis, and its people are sad, angry, and deeply confused. As the military has taken over the country, the residents of Myanmar took to the streets to protest against the anti-democratic military rule but were promptly stopped by authorities.

18. Ukraine

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 33.5

Amid economic problems and years of war, Ukraine's population experiences misery and various problems in life.

17. Republic of India

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 35.8

India is a developing nation that has improved its GDP and income per capita in the last few years, yet a huge part of its population is struggling to access even basic necessities of life.

16. Ethiopia

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 36.1

Ethiopia has serious issues of human rights violations as well as poverty. The country is one of the poorest in Africa and had one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world.

15. Jordan

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 37.9

Jordan is the 15th of the 25 miserable countries in the world because of its political crisis. The monarchy and its mismanagement have aroused the people of Jordan to protest against the inept rule many times but to no avail. The coronavirus pandemic has worsened the political and economic condition of the country significantly. Unemployment has surged from 15% to 20% while the poverty rate has increased from 16% to 37%.

However, as the country opens up to the world and companies like Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER), LYFT Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) begin their services in the country, per-capita income is expected to increase in the country in the coming years.

14. Malawi

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 37.9

Although Malawi is a peaceful country and has never been the site of a civil war, the residents of Malawi are among the most miserable in the world. The economic situation of the country troubles its people. Malawi struggles to provide its residents with sound medical services. Moreover, its graduates fail to find jobs in the country due to the lack of opportunities. The people of Malawi reportedly depend on their government for subsidies on all economic activities such as agriculture, farming, and even using electricity.

However, as the country opens up to the world and companies like Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER), LYFT Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) begin their services in the country, per-capita income is expected to increase in the country in the coming years.

13. Iraq

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 39.5

For years Iraq has faced political turmoil, sectarian conflicts and war. The coronavirus pandemic has only made people’s condition worse.

12. Botswana

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 39.7

Although Botswana has a stable economy, the people of Botswana experience sadness due to the lack of social support in their community, and income inequality. Poverty in Botswana has made it the twelfth on the list of 25 miserable countries in the world.

11. Congo

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 40.3

Congo is the eleventh on our list of 25 miserable countries in the world and with good reason. Despite being the second-largest country in Africa and being gifted with an abundance of natural resources, Congo is one of the poorest countries in the world. Decades of war and political instability cause half of the population of Congo to experience stress and mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

10. Namibia

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 40.7

The people of Namibia have been strongly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic has influenced the Namibians’ health, their economy, and their collective psychology. Even after the pandemic receded, the work environment in Namibia did not return to normal.

9. Nigeria

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 45.6

Although Nigeria is the largest producer of oil in Africa, its population is not flourishing. One of the major factors for the unease and unhappiness of the country’s citizens is the ever-increasing corruption that takes a heavy toll on them.

8. Haiti

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 48.9

Haiti is 8th on the list of 25 miserable countries in the world. The country’s economy depends primarily on tourism and the mining and exporting of minerals such as gold, marble, copper, and bauxite.

However, as the country opens up to the world and companies like Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER), LYFT Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) begin their services in the country, per-capita income is expected to increase in the country in the coming years.

7. South Africa

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 49.3

South Africa is the 7th on our list of the 25 miserable countries in the world. South Africa is rich in mineral deposits yet the country’s economy is weak and struggles to survive. In addition to a weak economy, the country has experienced armed conflict and contains militant groups and rebels that confront the government frequently.

6. Brazil

Hanke's Annual Misery Index 2020 Score: 53.4

Brazil's population is facing misery amid declining incomes and COVID-related problems. The pandemic and human casualties associated with it have caused massive unemployment and a significant drop in people’s income. As a result, per capita income is lower than it has been in a decade.

However, as the country opens up to the world and companies like Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE: UBER), LYFT Inc (NASDAQ: LYFT), Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) begin their services in the country, per-capita income is expected to increase in the country in the coming years.

Click to continue reading and see the 5 Miserable Countries in the World.

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Disclosure: None. 25 Miserable Countries in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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