U.S. pollster Gallup conducted a survey in 152 countries to compare how people feel about their lives. Singapore ranks as the world’s most emotionless society, behind Georgia, Lithuania, and Russia. Singaporeans are unlikely to report feelings of anger, physical pain, or other negative emotions. They’re not laughing a lot, either. “If you measure Singapore by the traditional indicators, they look like one of the best-run countries in the world,” says Jon Clifton, a Gallup partner in Washington. “But if you look at everything that makes life worth living, they’re not doing so well.”
Some of Gallup’s questions are straightforward. Evaluate your life on a scale of zero to 10: Danes are the most satisfied and people from Togo in West Africa are the least. No surprises, too, when Gallup asked people to say whether life would be better or worse five years from now. The award for most pessimistic goes to the inhabitants of Greece, ground zero of the euro debt crisis. Last year, the people most likely to report feeling stress, anger, sadness, worry, or pain were Iraqis. The most emotional nation? The Philippines.