Eric Zuesse – Gallup: Ranking Countries for Happiness-Sadness

The “2019 Gallup Global Emotions Report” (, which until May 20th was available only in a highly truncated release,, on April 25th) ranks 142 nations for the residents’ happiness and sadness. The international Gallup poll’s most relevant four questions for that are summarized below. The top-ranked and bottom-ranked five nations for each one of those four questions will be shown here. Also, the scores will be shown (but not the ranks) for each of specifically five countries: U.S., Saudi Arabia, Israel, Russia, and Venezuela. They were chosen by me to display the score for each on each of these four questions, and the reasons I chose those specific five nations are:

U.S. is the imperial center, the hub of the global wheel (, and therefore no other nation is as much the center of the world and deeply impacting every other nation.

Saudi Arabia is the only country that in the early 1970s became the indispensable partner to America controlling the value of America’s currency the dollar in foreign exchanges and thus enabling the dollar to be the global reserve currency. That’s when the U.S. went off the gold standard and onto the petroleum standard – dollars per barrel of oil – as the currency’s base. It was a verbal agreement between President Nixon and King Saud and has remained consistently in effect ever since.

Israel is Saudi Arabia’s second-most-important partner (after the U.S.) because if Israel were to end its alliance with the Saud family (stop using Israel’s political influence in Washington ( in ways that advance instead of impede the Sauds’ main international objective of conquering or controlling Iran), then the Saudi rulers’ political and personal corruption and barbarism and their financing of Al Qaeda and other such organizations, would seriously jeopardize the U.S.-Saudi alliance and the continuance in power of that family. The Sauds need the U.S. to do their bidding, but also need Israel to do their bidding (against Iran). The U.S. basically sides with Sunni Islam against Shia Islam. So does Israel. They both do the Sauds’ bidding. (The Sauds have been against Iran ever since 1744 ( when its name was instead “Persia.) One might even make a case that the Saud family are the hub, and that America is instead the most important spoke.

Russia is America’s main target-nation or ‘enemy’ — the single nation that America’s rulers are the most-obsessed ultimately to conquer. This is the reason why virtually every ‘dictator’ that the U.S. Government tries to overthrow is either friendly toward, or actually allied with, Russia. The safest path for the leader of any nation is to join the U.S. alliance and become hostile toward Russia. Any leader who fails to do that becomes himself or herself a target for overthrow by the U.S. Consequently, Russia therefore tends to be isolated and is supported only by foreign leaders that are more concerned to protect their nation’s sovereignty than to protect their own personal safety. The U.S. perpetrates almost 100% of the world’s invasions and coups; every nation’s rulers fear the U.S. Government.

Venezuela is perhaps the hottest current hot-spot where the nation’s leader is clearly being targeted by the U.S. for overthrow and replacement by a U.S.-selected ruler. So: my selection of countries is determined here mainly by these geostrategic factors.

Following are the four most-relevant questions that Gallup asks regarding the respondent’s happiness or sadness. Gallup poses its questions on the basis of the respondent’s reporting specifically the individual’s own estimate of how he/she felt on exactly the prior day. That’s a day that is in the past (and so is not at all speculative), and it’s also the most recent such day; and, therefore, Gallup’s findings are based on the respondent’s clearest possible recollections of what that specific day was subjectively like, for them. Although, for some respondents, that day might have been atypical, either happier or sadder than the individual’s average, those differences (both plus and minus) average-out for the large samples which are being employed by the pollster. Here are the questions, and the findings, regarding the four key variables that were tapped: anger, sadness, pain, and enjoyment. Gallup didn’t include any question for “happiness” because social ’scientists’ have an aversion to that term as being ’too subjective’, but “enjoyment” was used by Gallup instead (even though it’s just as ’subjective’ as is “happiness”), and it probably taps into very close to the same thing as “happiness”:

Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday? How about anger?


1 Armenia 45%
2 Iraq 44%
3 Iran 43%
4 Palestinian Territories 43%
5 Morocco 41%


1 Estonia 6%
2 Singapore 7%
3 Finland 7%
4 Mauritius 8%
5 Mexico 8%


Saudi Arabia=26%

How about sadness?


1 Chad 54%
2 Niger 49%
3 Liberia 47%
4 Sierra Leone 46%
5 Guinea 45%

1 Taiwan 5%
2 Singapore 7%
3 Kosovo 9%
4 China 12%
5 Sweden 12%

Saudi Arabia 23%

How about physical pain?


1 Chad 66%
2 Sierra Leone 62%
3 Gambia 56%
4 Iraq 56%
5 Benin 55%


1 Vietnam 14%
2 N. Cyprus 15%
3 Poland 15%
4 Taiwan 15%
5 Sweden 17%


Saudi Arabia=37%

How about enjoyment?


1 Paraguay 91%
2 Mexico 88%
3 China 87%
4 Costa Rica 87%
5 Denmark 87%


1 Sierra Leone 41%
2 Belarus 42%
3 Lithuania 43%
4 Egypt 44%
5 Turkey 44%


Saudi Arabia 73%

Syria and Cuba were not among the 142 sampled countries, and thus weren’t included in these rankings.

Gallup is the only pollster that is in this business of ranking countries for subjective well-being or happiness-sadness. However, a team of economists, headed by Jeffrey Sachs and two others, produce what they presumptuously call the “World Happiness Report 2019” (, ranking 156 countries on various economic factors, such as GDP per capita, life expectancy, and ‘freedom to make life choices’ and they define that as “Freedom to make life choices is the national average of binary [“Yes”-or-“No”] responses to the GWP [Gallup World Poll] question ‘Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?’” Obviously, such “freedom” is far higher in rich countries than in poor ones, simply because it largely reflects how wealthy the person is. If you’re poor, you don’t have much of that “freedom.” For many, to “choose what you do with your life” is basically to survive instead of to die. They’re “free” to do that. Economists understand almost nothing, and tend to produce ‘findings’ that the people who hired them want them to ‘find’ — such as ‘finding’ that per-capita GDP is the main determinant of a nation’s ‘welfare’ (which was their basic assignment to ‘find’ — and they ‘found’ it).

Actually, only direct ’subjective’ questions, such as “Did you experience the following feelings during a lot of the day yesterday?” are relevant to determining whether a person is “happy” or “sad”; and any attempt to “objectify” by referring instead (either directly or indirectly) to GDP-per-capita, won’t honestly indicate how much the people who live in a given country are happy or sad. The social sciences aren’t only about how much people own. Maybe in some countries, too much of what they own are weapons to protect themselves against thieves, rapists, murderers, etcetera; or else are unreliable and unregulated medications, or products and services that don’t do what their advertisers claim. Economists have a very warped sense of “welfare”: they count the dollars, and what can be converted into dollars, and place too much value on that, and too little on all else. In order to determine a nation’s “welfare,” or “happiness,” only questions which tap directly into people’s actual “feelings” are appropriate, at all. Any ‘social science’ that’s only about property is no social science at all; it’s merely aping the physical sciences, and it’s neither an ape nor a science, whatever the aristocratic funders of economists might want it to be (a fake ’social’ ’science’ that’s only about property).

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 (, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity (

Meer informatie: