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More Britons Stressed Out Than Before Referendum

More Britons Stressed Out Than Before Referendum

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While the United Kingdom is no longer in danger of crashing out of the European Union this week, thanks to yet another extension from the EU, there are signs that Britons' emotional health has suffered some in the climate of uncertainty over the past few years.

More Britons are stressed today than they were before the referendum vote in 2016, with more than one in three (36%) in 2019 saying they experienced a lot of stress the day before the survey.

Line graph. Stress levels in the United Kingdom before Brexit.

While not increasing to the same degree, the numbers of Britons who say they experienced a lot of worry (37%) and sadness (25%) are also on the higher end this year compared with where they've been in the past few years.

Line graph. Trend in Britons' worry, sadness and anger since 2016.

Despite their increasing negativity in other areas, Britons are no angrier in 2019 than they have been at most points since 2016; 13% of Britons this year say they experienced a lot of anger the previous day.

Emotional Brexit?

The elevated stress, worry, sadness (along with higher incidence of physical pain in 2019) nudged the U.K.'s score on Gallup's Negative Experience Index this year to 28 -- four points higher than its score before the referendum.

While it is impossible to say whether the long path to Brexit has had anything to do with any of the increase, it will be interesting to see where Britons' emotional state will be after this coming January -- when and if Brexit finally happens.

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

Learn more about how the Gallup World Poll works.

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