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Emotional Wellbeing

What We Measure
The Positive and Negative Experience Indexes reflect people's daily experiences around the globe, offering leaders insights into the health of their societies that they cannot gain from economic measures alone.
Emotional Wellbeing
Negative Experience Index in 2021
Positive Experience Index in 2021
Why it matters

Why Emotional Wellbeing Matters

Emotions are powerful. Yet, traditional indicators aren't designed to measure how people feel. Gallup created the Positive and Negative Experience Indexes to capture a snapshot of people's daily experiences that provide insights into the health of their societies.

While most leaders watch measures such as GDP and unemployment closely, few pay attention to how their people are feeling. Gallup has produced global statistics for wellbeing and happiness since 2006, and these metrics perfectly complement the objective indicators for human development.

Wellbeing and happiness metrics help leaders and researchers better understand what makes a great life. The Positive and Negative Experience Indexes track the world's experiences with pain, worry, stress, anger, enjoyment, laughter and more. Global negative experiences have risen since 2006, while positive experiences fell in 2021 after remaining steady for several years.

How We Measure the Positive Experience Index

The Positive Experience Index score is a mean of all valid affirmative responses to the items below multiplied by 100. Higher scores indicate that positive emotions are more pervasive in a country. These scores strongly relate to people's perceptions of their living standard, their personal freedoms and the presence of social networks.



Smiled or Laughed

Learned or Did Something Interesting

Experienced Enjoyment

How We Measure the Negative Experience Index

The Negative Experience Index score is the mean of all valid affirmative responses to the items below multiplied by 100. The higher the score, the more pervasive negative emotions are in a country. People's experiences with health problems and their ability to afford food are predictive of higher negative scores.






Gallup’s Positive and Negative Experience Indexes

The results are based on nationally representative, probability-based samples among the adult population, aged 15 and older, in each country. In most years, except for 2020 and 2021, the Positive Experience Index and Negative Experience Index are calculated from surveys in more than 140 countries and areas. In 2020 and 2021, scores are based on surveys in 116 and 122 countries, respectively.

Results are based on telephone or face-to-face surveys of approximately 1,000 or more respondents in each country. Gallup typically conducts more than 3,000 interviews in China and India and 2,000 in the Russian Federation.

For results based on the total sample of national adults in 2021, the margin of sampling error ranges between ±2.0 and ±5.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error reflects the influence of data weighting. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

Next Steps

What Is the State of Emotions by Country?

View More on Global Emotions Check out the Gallup Global Emotions report to get the latest insights and see country-level data on emotions.

View Report about Gallup Global Emotions

View More Country-Level Data Explore our Global Emotions interactive to see the latest data on emotions from each country.

Explore Page about Gallup Global Emotions report

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