Sep 16, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Gallup book: Global rise of unhappiness preceded COVID

Global Negative Experience Index, by year
Data: Gallup. Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Gallup CEO Jon Clifton — out this week with "Blind Spot," a book about improving people's lives through more and better data — tells me:

  • "We warned the world in the Fall of 2020 about the global rise of unhappiness. Many heard the information and thought: 'Isn’t that obvious? The entire world is suffering from a global pandemic.'"
  • "They were right, but the global rise of unhappiness has been coming for a decade. And if people think the pandemic caused the world’s unhappiness, then they haven’t been paying attention. We launched this book hoping that people would finally pay attention to the global rise in stress, sadness, physical pain, worry and anger."
The Cover of "Blind Spot" from Gallup
Cover: Gallup Press

A great life "is more than just money," Clifton writes:

After studying the 20% of people who report having a great life, Gallup finds they have five things in common: They are fulfilled by their work, have little financial stress, live in great communities, have good physical health, and have loved ones they can turn to for help.
Clifton tells me the book took two years. But he's been listening to the world’s global citizens for over 15 years through the Gallup World Poll.

Go deeper: Read a book excerpt ... Watch a video.

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