skip to main content
Gallup Blog
Gallup's Top World Findings for 2019
Gallup Blog

Gallup's Top World Findings for 2019

In 2019, Gallup published more than 100 global reports and articles on what people in more than 140 countries are thinking and feeling. Through our World Poll, Gallup systematically tracks and reports on wellbeing, leadership approval ratings, confidence in national institutions, employment rates and other issues affecting people's daily lives and, ultimately, the choices they make.

The following list includes Gallup editors' picks for some of the most important world discoveries -- and most highly read international stories -- of the year:

More Americans Angry, Stressed and Worried: Even as the economy roared, more Americans were stressed, angry and worried in 2018 than they had been at most points during the past decade. Gallup's report on global emotions showed negative experiences around the world, in general, remained at record levels in 2018, and a new interactive let people explore how their countries fared.

Record Numbers of Americans Wanted to Leave the U.S.: Though relatively average by global standards, the 16% of Americans overall who said in 2017 and again in 2018 that they would like to permanently move to another country -- if they could -- was higher than the average levels during either the George W. Bush (11%) or Barack Obama administration (10%). Canada was their top pick for a new home.

Record 20% of Russians Would Like to Leave Russia: Adding to the bad news that the country's population was declining for the first time in a decade, a new high of one in five Russians (20%) in 2018 said they would like to leave Russia if they could. Germany and the U.S. were the top desired destinations.

Worldwide, 54% See Communities as Good for Migrants: Is the world a better place for migrants to live than it was at the start of the decade? With the recent backlash against migrants in Europe and in other countries, including the United States, you wouldn't expect people to think so -- but a majority of the world sees it that way today. Gallup's new Migration Research Center offered more analysis about how people feel about migrants in their communities.

Image of U.S. Leadership Worse Than China's: At the halfway mark of Donald Trump's presidency, the image of U.S. leadership was in poor shape, but its approval ratings were no longer in free fall. However, China and Russia both gained ground, with China edging farther ahead of the U.S. and Russia on nearly equal footing. Gallup's report on world leaders showed how the U.S. compared with the leadership of Germany, Russia and China.

The Least Safe Country in the World Is …: After tying with Venezuela for the least secure country in the world in 2017, Afghanistan earned the title outright in 2018. The war-torn country's score of 38 on Gallup's Law and Order Index was the lowest out of all 142 countries surveyed in 2018 -- the deadliest year in recent history for Afghan civilians. Gallup's report on global law and order detailed how the rest of the world fared.

Is It Time to Retire Global Unemployment?: Unemployment doesn't tell us much about a country's prosperity or economic growth. At best, the current metric gives us an incomplete picture. Gallup's third snapshot of global employment looks at who has good jobs and great jobs around the world and what the relationship is between those jobs and productivity and wellbeing.

U.S. Women Feel Less Respected Than European, Canadian Peers: A record-low 59% of Americans in 2018 said women in their country are treated with respect and dignity. This was down sharply from 68% the previous year, with most of the slump coming from U.S. women -- among whom less than half (48%) currently feel U.S. women are treated with respect.

World-Low 9% of Ukrainians Confident in Government: In the lead-up to their presidential election on March 31, Ukrainians went to polls with less faith in their government than any other electorate in the world. Just 9% of residents had confidence in the national government, the lowest confidence level in the world for the second straight year.

Nearly Nine in 10 Afghans Are "Suffering": Gallup's surveys in Afghanistan reveal just how devastating the country's chronic conflict has been to Afghans' daily lives. Wellbeing indicators paint a bleak picture of hopelessness and suffering among the population; in 2018, Afghans' average ratings of their current lives and predicted ratings of their lives in five years matched or fell below previous record-lows for any country worldwide.

Britons Soured on Leadership as Brexit Drama Dragged On: Britons' approval of the country's leadership sank to 41% in 2019, as deal after deal failed to make it past parliament. In Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, residents gave higher approval of the leadership of the EU than to the leadership of their own country.

Read more 2019 findings from Gallup's surveys in the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.

For complete methodology and specific survey dates, please review Gallup's Country Data Set details.

Learn more about how the Gallup World Poll works.


Julie Ray is a writer and editor at Gallup.

Gallup World Headquarters, 901 F Street, Washington, D.C., 20001, U.S.A
+1 202.715.3030