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Friday, October 18, 2013

In a Global State of Mind: New Metrics for a Changing World

By Julie Ray

Global States of Mind 2013 is Gallup’s second annual report card on where countries stand on the Gallup Microeconomic Path -- a behavioral-based leadership model for successful societies. This report, which Gallup released today, looks beyond traditional economic indicators and captures what people around the world are thinking and how they are feeling. The report focuses on the world’s top and bottom performers on important measures that promote quality GDP growth.

Here are some key findings from the report:

Law and Order: Venezuelans and South Africans are the least likely worldwide to say they feel safe walking alone at night where they live; in both countries, about one in four adults feel secure.

Food and Shelter: The countries where residents are struggling most to afford food are disproportionately located in sub-Saharan Africa -- eight of the top 10 are sub-Saharan African countries. Haiti is also in the top 10; the 67% who could not afford food in 2012 is higher than at any point since the 2010 earthquake.

Institutions and Infrastructure: Corruption is perceived as a widespread problem in free and not-so-free societies. Among countries with a free press -- an indicator of governance and development -- as many as 94% of adults in the Czech Republic say corruption is widespread in their country’s government.

Good Jobs: Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest Payroll-to-Population (P2P) rate in the world (11%), so it’s not surprising that eight of the 10 countries with the lowest P2P rates are in this region; none of them have P2P rates higher than the single digits.

Well-Being: Many of the countries at the top of the “suffering” list are repeats from 2011, suggesting little has changed for the better in places such as Iran (31%), Syria (29%), or Afghanistan (29%).

Brain Gain: Most of the countries where residents are the most likely to be planning to move away in the next year were experiencing turmoil on some level in 2012. The 43% in Syria who plan to move is the highest in the world, and is up sharply from the 29% at the start of the conflict.

Leadership Approval: In Europe, where people’s ratings of their leadership are strongly related to economic conditions, 13% of Czechs approve of the job performance of their leadership. This relatively low rating (the lowest for countries with a free press) is likely tied to the republic being mired in the longest recession since the breakup of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

For more findings and to learn more about Gallup’s global research, read the full Global States of Mind report, visit our World Poll Knowledge Center, and check out Gallup Analytics.

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