Zimbabwe ‘most miserable’ country, Switzerland ‘least’

| | New Delhi
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Zimbabwe ‘most miserable’ country, Switzerland ‘least’

Thursday, 25 May 2023 | Rajesh Kumar | New Delhi

Zimbabwe ‘most miserable’ country, Switzerland ‘least’

Switzerland emerged as the “least miserable country” while Zimbabwe, followed by Venezuela, Syria and Lebanon have been ranked “most miserable country” in the Hanke’s Annual Misery Index (HAMI) 2022.

Besides, Sudan, Argentina, Yemen, Ukraine, Cuba, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Haiti, Angola, Tonga, and Ghana emerged as the 15 most miserable countries worldwide.

India is placed at the 103rd spot, with unemployment identified as the primary contributing factor to the country’s relative level of misery.

According to the index, Zimbabwe and Venezuela experienced a skyrocketing inflation rate of 243.8 per cent and 266.9 per cent respectively in the previous year. The annual misery report 2022 said among the 157 countries analysed, Switzerland emerged as the least miserable, occupying the top position (157) on the list.

“One reason for that is the Swiss debt break. The debt brake has worked like a charm. Unlike most countries, Switzerland’s debt-to-GDP ratio has been on a downward trend in the last two decades, since it enshrined its debt brake into its constitution in a 2002 national referendum. In 2002, Central Government debt stood at 29.7 per cent of GDP, and by 2018 had been reduced to 18.7 per cent. It’s hard to beat a democracy in which most major decisions can, if enough of the electorate insists, be put to a popular vote,” it said.

The US is ranked 134 in the list with unemployment a leading factor of unhappiness. Other countries with the least misery levels include Kuwait (156), Ireland (155), Japan (154), Malaysia (153), Taiwan (152), Niger (151), Thailand (150), Togo (149), and Malta (148).

Pakistan, which is currently grappling with a economic and political crisis, ranked at number 35 in the world’s most miserable countries list, with inflation as the most contributing factor.

The annual misery index was compiled by Steve Hanke, who is a professor of Applied Economics at John Hopkins University. Hanke’s index provided rankings for a total of 157 countries. The index is the sum of the year-end unemployment, inflation, and bank-lending rates, minus the annual percentage change in real GDP per capita. Hanke shared the list of the top 15 countries on Twitter, expressing his observations.

“Thanks to stunning inflation, high unemployment, high lending rates, and anemic real GDP growth, Zimbabwe clocks in as the WORLD’S MOST MISERABLE COUNTRY in the Hanke 2022 Annual Misery Index. Need I say more?” he tweeted.

Interestingly, World’s happiest country Finland ranked at 109 in the world’s most miserable countries list, again with unemployment as the most contributing factor.

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