Gallup has been surveying Afghans about their lives every year since 2008, with the exception of 2020, when we could not safely conduct in-person polls because of the pandemic. However, even though we did not interview them last year, what Afghans have been telling us over the years provides insight into the unfortunate situation they find themselves in today, with the Taliban back in control of their country.
Below, we take a quick look back at what Afghans have been telling us for years about life in Afghanistan. Over the next few weeks, Gallup researchers and editors will be mining more than a decade of data from Afghanistan and publishing more insights.
- Nation building was never going well from the perspective of most Afghans.
- Afghans' own life evaluations have been getting worse for years. They have led the world in suffering since 2017.
- National institutions failed to deliver for most Afghans.
- Law and order in the country has been on the decline for years.
- Hope among Afghan women has faded.
- In fact, in 2018, nearly half of Afghan women expressed a desire to leave their country permanently -- if they could.
- Afghans knew years ago that the Taliban would be back.
- Even U.S. military leaders had their doubts and sounded the alarms repeatedly.