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Gallup's Top World Stories From 2022
Gallup Blog

Gallup's Top World Stories From 2022

Coups. Invasion. Civil war. Instability. These are some of the hardest and most dangerous times to survey people about their lives -- but they are also the times when these people need the world to hear them most.

In 2022, Gallup published about 100 global articles and reports on what people in more than 120 countries are thinking and feeling, including people living under severe stress in places such as Ukraine and Afghanistan.

Through our World Poll, Gallup regularly 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:

  1. Who Are the Unhappiest People in the World?: Gallup's report on global emotions showed the world was unhappier and more stressed out than ever in the second year of the pandemic. But in two countries -- Afghanistan and Lebanon -- more people were living in misery than anywhere else on the planet.
  1. Ukrainians Support Fighting Until Victory: Gallup surveys in Ukraine in 2022 offered a glimpse into Ukrainians' lives more than six months into the war with Russia. Most Ukrainians remained resolved to keep fighting until their country wins the war, denounced Russia and expected to join NATO and the European Union in the next decade.
  1. Ukraine War Threatens World's Food Supply: Large segments of the populations in countries reliant on wheat from Ukraine or Russia were also struggling to afford food before the war broke out. In 2021, more than four in 10 residents (41%) lacked money for food in Egypt, which received 70% of the country’s grain imports from Russia and Ukraine in 2019.
  1. Afghans Hold Out Little Hope for Next Generation: One year after the Taliban retook control of their country, Afghans have lost hope -- not only for themselves but also for future generations in Afghanistan. Gallup surveys documented Afghans’ descent into deeper despair in 2022 and the further loss of dignity and respect for Afghan women.
  1. U.S. Approval Ratings Retreat After Afghanistan Withdrawal: After a strong rebound during President Joe Biden's first six months in office, approval ratings of U.S. leadership around the world slipped in the second half of the year, coinciding with the withdrawal from Afghanistan. Still, before the war in Ukraine, the image of the U.S. across NATO was the strongest in years.
  1. Global Progress on Safety, Confidence in Police Stalls: During the second year of the pandemic, the world felt about as safe as it did during the first. However, there were signs that progress stalled -- particularly in countries such as the U.S., where people's sense of safety and confidence in police fell.
  1. Is the World Better for Gay People Than It Was 10 Years Ago?: Half of the world's adults (50%) say their city or area is a "good place" for gay or lesbian people to live. This figure has doubled over the past decade and represents a new high in Gallup World Poll's trend that dates back to 2005.
  1. Brazilians Lack Confidence in Elections as Vote Nears: Brazil’s 2022 election pitted a populist incumbent versus a popular president. President Jair Bolsonaro repeatedly leveled allegations of electoral fraud ahead of the election, which he ultimately lost. Two in three Brazilians (67%) interviewed before the elections in 2022 said they did not have confidence in the honesty of elections, while 30% said they did.
  1. Economic, Safety Issues Await Philippines' Next President: Majorities of Filipinos in all age groups were feeling economic pain before the election. In 2021, Filipinos aged 50 or older were most likely to report difficulty getting by (62%), followed by those aged 30 to 49 (58%).
  1. Post-Coup Myanmar: Record Numbers Want Out: The number of people who said they would leave Myanmar exploded after the military coup, quadrupling from 6% in 2018 to a record 24% in late 2021. A record-high 59% of Myanmar residents in 2021 said they do not feel safe walking alone at night where they live, nearly double the 30% of the year before.

Read more 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.

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