UK Ranked Second Most Unhappy Country, While Tanzania, Nigeria, Others Do Well In Global Survey For Mental Health –Report


A new report suggests a global decline in mental well-being, with the UK coming in a concerning second place for the most miserable country.

The UK scored a low 49 on a Mental Health Quotient (MHQ) scale ranging from -100 (very dissatisfied) to 200. This placed the European country just above Uzbekistan, which is the country with the lowest score.

35% of Britons and South Africans, 34% of Brazilians, 33% of Australians and 32% of Uzbekistanis reported feeling “distressed.” On the other hand, 14% of Sri Lankans and 17% of Italians, Georgians and Nigerians reported feeling distressed.

Every year, Sapien Labs, a research organization, asks hundreds of thousands of people in many countries for its “Mental State of the World” poll. Sapien Labs said in 2023, it collected data from over 500,000 respondents in 13 languages across 71 countries that spanned 9 regions.

It noted that data is collected using the MHQ (Mental Health Quotient) assessment, a comprehensive online survey of cognitive and emotional capabilities that provides an overall mental well-being metric (the MHQ score) as well as multiple dimensional views that relate to the ability to navigate the normal stresses of life and function productively.

The latest report is its fourth annual Mental State of the World Report that provides a perspective on the Internet-enabled global population.

“In focus this year is one key trend – that the dramatic decline in mental well-being that occurred between 2019 and 2020, and continued into 2021 through the COVID-19 pandemic, continues to persist with no sign of recovery,” the report says.

It noted that as seen each year, countries at the top of the list are largely Latin American and African countries such as Tanzania, Nigeria, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic, while the wealthier countries of the Core Anglosphere such as the United Kingdom and Australia are towards the bottom.

The report says, “As mental wellbeing has remained largely static across the world since 2021, so too have the rankings of countries. At the top of the rankings are many Latin American and African countries while much of the core Anglosphere ranks in the bottom quartile.

“This runs counter to our common perception that wealth enhances wellbeing. In our annual report for 2021 we showed that the average mental wellbeing scores of the Internet-enabled populations of countries were strongly and significantly negatively correlated with economic metrics such as per capita GDP and even the Human Development Index. Why is this so?”

One of the figures in the report shows the percentages of respondents who were Distressed or Struggling in each country. “While the pattern is similar to average MHQ scores, there are some differences. Sri Lanka, Italy, Georgia and Nigeria have the lowest percentages of respondents who are Distressed or Struggling, (ranging from 14 to 17%). At the other end, Brazil, South Africa and the United Kingdom all show the greatest proportion of respondents who are Distressed or Struggling, ranging from 34-35%,” the report says.

Explaining the rankings of countries, the report says with mental well-being remaining steady across almost all countries since 2021, the rankings too have remained relatively steady.

Only 5 countries moved up the mental well-being scale by 2% or more while 4 moved down by 2% or more.

Courtesy: Sahara Reporters