February 7, 2015

The World’s Most Miserable Countries

With nearly 200 countries on our planet, there are plenty of places to travel, live, and work. The world is yours to explore, but there might be some places you want to avoid.

We found an interesting article on Business Insider that looks at a survey conducted by the Cato Institute called the Misery Index. It highlights the world’s most miserable countries.

The Misery Index ranks 108 countries based on factors like inflation, lending rates, unemployment rates, and GDP to determine the “misery” level. All statistics are taken from the Economist Intelligence Unit and used to create a list of the world’s most miserable countries. If you’re thinking about working abroad, this is a list you’ll probably want to check out.

Below you’ll find the name of the country, the misery index number (the higher the number the more miserable the place), and the major contributing factor to the country’s misery. Here are the 30 most miserable countries in the world:

  1. Venezuela – 106.03 – Consumer Prices
  2. Argentina – 68.00 – Consumer Prices
  3. Syria – 63.90 – Unemployment
  4. Ukraine – 51.80 – Unemployment
  5. Iran – 49.10 – Unemployment
  6. Brazil – 42.79 – Unemployment
  7. Sao Tome and Principe – 42.06 – Interest Rates
  8. Serbia – 40.32 – Unemployment
  9. Jamaica – 39.85 – Interest Rates
  10. South Africa – 39.16 – Unemployment
  11. Sudan – 38.71 – Consumer Prices
  12. Macedonia – 36.53 – Unemployment
  13. Kyrgyzstan – 35.17 – Interest Rates
  14. Belarus – 34.81 – Interest Rates
  15. Armenia – 34.45 – Unemployment
  16. Spain – 34.32 – Unemployment
  17. Palestinian Territories – 33.50 – Unemployment
  18. Egypt – 32.72 – Unemployment
  19. Greece – 32.02 – Unemployment
  20. Cyprus – 31.55 – Unemployment
  21. Bosnia and Herzegovina – 31.22 – Unemployment
  22. Turkey – 29.72 – Interest Rates
  23. Mongolia – 29.25 – Interest Rates
  24. Belize – 28.90 – Unemployment
  25. Uruguay – 28.37 – Interest Rates
  26. Honduras – 28.07 – Interest Rates
  27. Dominican Republic – 27.98 – Interest Rates
  28. Barbados – 27.83 – Unemployment
  29. Paraguay – 27.01 – Interest Rates
  30. Costa Rica – 26.87 – Interest Rates

Don’t see your country? Find the rest of the list here. On the flip side, the least miserable countries are:

  • Brunei – 4.94 – Interest Rates
  • Switzerland – 5.39 – Unemployment
  • China – 5.68 – Interest Rates
  • Taiwan – 5.91 – Unemployment
  • Japan – 6.18 – Unemployment

The United States is the 14th least miserable country. Its misery index is 9.22 and its major contributing factor was unemployment.

Just because a country is miserable, it doesn’t mean that you should cross it off of your job search list. Whatever you do, only use this list as a starting point for your job search abroad. A sense of adventure in life can take you far.

Did you know that you can search jobs by country on the JobMonkey Job Board? Try it. It’s free.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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