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Gallup's Top World Findings of 2016

Gallup's Top World Findings of 2016

Story Highlights

  • Russians give U.S. leadership its lowest approval rating in a decade
  • U.S. image globally still strong compared with other world powers
  • Great jobs remain scarce worldwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In 2016, Gallup published global reports and articles on what people in more than 140 countries are thinking and feeling. Through its World Poll, Gallup systematically tracks and reports on well-being, leadership approval ratings, confidence in national institutions, employment rates and other important issues affecting people's daily lives. The following list includes Gallup editors' picks for some of the most important world discoveries -- and most highly read international stories -- of the year.

Russians' Approval of U.S. Leadership Drops to Record 1%: Just 1% of Russians approved of U.S. leadership in 2015 -- the worst rating in the world that year and the lowest approval Gallup has measured for the U.S. in the past decade.

U.S. Global Image Remains Strong Among Major World Powers: Since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, the image of the U.S. has been relatively strong worldwide. The same is true as Obama prepares to leave office. For the third consecutive year in 2015, the leadership of the U.S. earned the highest approval rating among five major global powers.

Fewer Than 200 Million Worldwide Have Great Jobs: Twenty-six percent of adults worldwide -- or about 1.3 billion people -- work full time for an employer. But great jobs are even more scarce. Across the world, the percentage of adults who have good jobs and are engaged at work rarely tops 10%.

Unemployment Bad for Youth's Health in Wealthy Economies: Young people worldwide have an advantage over older adults when it comes to their physical well-being. But this is not the case among young, unemployed people in high-income economies.

The Happiest People in the World?: The answer depends on how you define happiness. Gallup's 2016 report on global emotions revealed the latest data on people's positive and negative daily experiences based on nearly 147,000 interviews with adults in 140 countries in 2015.

Views of Media Freedom Declining Worldwide: Although internet access and mobile data services are available to more of the global population than ever before, residents of many countries are becoming less -- not more -- likely to say their media have a lot of freedom.

Security Issues Continue to Trouble Latin America: As Venezuela edged closer to collapse in 2015, the country's score on Gallup's Law and Order Index -- an annual global gauge of people's sense of security -- dropped to a new record low. This score was not only the worst in the world last year, but it was also the worst Gallup has recorded for any country in the past decade.

Eastern Europeans, CIS Residents See Russia, U.S. as Threats: Amid continued talk about a "new Cold War," residents of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) saw Russia -- or the U.S. -- as the one country that poses the biggest threat to their country. But their answers largely depended on the country in which Gallup asked the question.

Worry and Stress Rise in China: Feelings of worry and stress increased sharply among Chinese adults in 2015 as their satisfaction with their household income and personal savings dropped precipitously amid China's economic slowdown.

Life Ratings Plummet in Venezuela; Thriving at 10-Year Low: Venezuelans' lives have been turned upside down as their country teeters on the brink. Twenty-nine percent of Venezuelans rated their lives positively enough to be considered "thriving" in 2015 -- the lowest figure in the 10 years Gallup has been tracking this measure in the country -- and about twice as many (61%) were "struggling."

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