Young refugees are pictured in a make-shift camp in the Kurdish town of Akra in Iraq's Mosul region, north of Baghdad, on April 19, 2014.
Photo by Safin Hamed/Getty

Iraq, Iran top world’s unhappiest countries list


Iraq is the unhappiest place to live on Earth.

At least that’s what a new Gallup survey says.

The poll measured the emotions of residents in 138 countries, ranging from anger and stress to sadness and physical pain. The higher the score, the more common negative feelings were to individuals living in each country.

Iraq ranked highest with a score of 57, followed by Iran with 53 points and Egypt with 50, according to the poll. Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan had the lowest negative experience figure, 13, which means residents there are the happiest in the world.

The United States ranked within the top 40 with a figure of 33.

People living in the Middle East and North Africa regions reported the highest negative emotions, a trend that has continued since Gallup first began tracking the index in 2006.

Gallup released the top 10 negative countries on June 3 and published the full list on June 12.

The results were published just weeks after officials arrested six young Iranians in their home country for appearing in an original Internet tribute to American singer Pharrell Williams’s hit song “Happy.” They have since been released, but were reprimanded previously on state television during an evening news broadcast. 

Almost half of Iranians – 48% – said they would not recommend their country to a friend searching for a place to live.

Researchers polled about 1,000 individuals older than 14 years of age in each of the 138 countries during 2013.