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WIN/Gallup International’s Annual Global End of Year Survey Shows That Happiness is on the Rise

WIN/Gallup International, the world’s leading association in market research and polling, has today published its 38th End of Year Survey exploring the outlook, expectations, views and beliefs of 64002 people from 65 countries across the globe.


  • 70% of people worldwide say they are happy with their life up from 60% last year, although just 42% believe that next year will be one of economic prosperity for their country;
  • Fiji is the happiest country in the world (93%) while Iraq is the least happy (31%);
  • Africa (75%) and Asia (63%) are the most confident that 2015 will be better than 2014;
  • Just 12% of Western Europeans believe that 2015 will be a year of economic prosperity;
  • Three out of five people globally would go to war for their country, with MENA (77%) in stark contrast to Western Europe (25%).

A happier world in 2014

As 2014 comes to a close, 70% of respondents to the WIN/Gallup survey say that they are happy, up 10% from 2013. Of the 64,002 people polled just 6% declared themselves to be unhappy, compared to last year’s 12%, while those that are neither happy nor unhappy has remained stable, 23% against 26% last year.

Africa appears to be the happiest region in 2014 with 83% of those surveyed across the continent being content, followed by Asia (77%).  Meanwhile, those from Oceania, MENA and Western Europe are the least happy with 14%, 13% and 11% respectively responding that they are either unhappy or very unhappy.

Combined Eastern and Western Europe’s happiest country proved to be Finland where 80% said that they were content still someway shy of Fiji, this year’s happiest nation, where 93% said that they were either happy or very happy.  On the reverse Eastern and Western Europe’s unhappiest nation this year was Greece where 24% of respondents said they were either unhappy or very unhappy, perhaps unsurprising given the recent economic turmoil in the country.   Again, this is someway short of the world’s unhappiest country which was Iraq where approximately one in three people (31%) said that they were either unhappy or very unhappy.

Optimism spreads

From a global perspective, the survey shows that approximately half (53%) of those asked about 2015 think it will be better than 2014, up by 5% from last year. The number of those who think it will be worse has dropped by 5% to 15%.  Africa (75%) and Asia (63%) are the most optimistic about next year.  Conversely, Eastern Europe, MENA and Western Europe proved to be the most pessimistic regions with 28%, 27% and 26% respectively thinking that 2015 will be worse than 2014.

Nigeria proved to be the most positive country about 2015 with 85% of respondents thinking it will be better whereas Lebanon was most pessimistic with just 26% saying that they believe it will be better and 52% believing it will be worse.

Western economies on the slide?

When asked if next year would be one of economic prosperity, 42% of respondents believed it will be better whilst 23% believe it will be one of economic difficulty.  However Western European countries respondents continue to believe that economies will struggle during 2015 with 44% believing next year will be the same as 2014 and 40% believing it will be a difficult year in contrast to just 12% who believe it will be one of economic prosperity.  This is a sentiment carried over from last year when 42% believed this year would be one of economic difficulty and 11% thought it would be one of prosperity.  As well as being optimistic about 2015 as a whole, Nigeria also proved to be the most optimistic about the economy with 80% believing it will be a prosperous year. The most pessimistic countries surveyed were France, Serbia, Greece and Belgium where 57%, 56%, 54% and 54% respectively said that next year would be one of economic difficulty and only 6%, 15%, 12% and 4% respectively believing it would be a year of economic prosperity. 

Would you fight for your country?

In the year that has marked the centenary of the start of the ‘Great War’ it is noteworthy to see how people responded to the question of whether they would be willing to fight for their country.  Globally, 60% said that they would be willing to take up arms for their country while 27% would not be willing.  Western Europe proved the region most reticent to fighting for their country with just 25% saying that they would fight while about half (53%) stated that they would not fight for their flag. This contrasts sharply with people from the Arab countries of Middle East and North Africa who are the most likely to be willing to fight for their countries (77%) followed by those living in Asia (71%).

44% of respondents in the USA said they would fight for their country whereas the figure was just 27% in the UK, 29% in France and 18% in Germany. Despite being widely recognised for their neutrality, 39% of people from Switzerland said that they would be prepared to go to war for their country.  It was the Italians who proved to be least willing to bear arms for their country with 68% revealing they would refuse to do so.

Jean-Marc Leger, President of WIN/Gallup International Association, said: “Whilst the outlook for the world’s economy remains unpredictable our happiness refuses to wane and remains high across the globe.  This year’s survey also highlights that people across the world are increasingly optimistic and believe that 2015 is set to be a good year.”


The End of Year Survey is an annual tradition initiated by and designed under the chairmanship of Dr. George Gallup in 1977. It is conducted every year since then. This year it was carried out by  the WIN/Gallup International Association in 65 countries around the world.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

A total of 64002 persons were interviewed globally. In each country a representative sample of around 1000 men and women was interviewed either face to face (31 countries; n=33862), via telephone (12 countries; n=9784) or online (22 countries; n=20356). Details are attached. The field work was conducted during September 2014 - December 2014. The margin of error for the survey is between 2.14 and 4.45 +3-5% at 95% confidence level.

The global average has been computed according to the share of the covered adult population of the surveyed countries.

About the WIN/Gallup International survey:

WIN/Gallup International is the leading association in market research and polling and is made up of the 75 largest independent market research and polling firms in their respective countries with combined revenue of over €500 million and covering 95% of the world’s market.

For more than 60 years WIN/Gallup International Members have demonstrated their expert ability to conduct multi-country surveys on a comparable basis and deliver the highest quality. Their Members are leading national institutes with a profound local knowledge of research methods and techniques, statistical sources, customs and culture differences of its own country and carefully selected by the Association Board. With only one Member agency per country, Members work together on a daily basis to share knowledge, new research techniques and tools, as well as to provide the most appropriate solutions to international research projects and service our clients to the best of our abilities.

The accumulated expertise of the Association is formidable - they have internationally renowned experts in public opinion, Third World issues, advertising, and media research as well as in commercial fields such as IT/telecommunications, healthcare, retail, economics, corporate research and so on. Members are at the leading edge of technical and methodological developments, which have impacted on not only the research industry but also the whole commercial world.

Disclaimer: Gallup International Association or its members are not related to Gallup Inc., headquartered in Washington D.C which is no longer a member of Gallup International Association. Gallup International Association does not accept responsibility for opinion polling other than its own. We require that our surveys be credited fully as Gallup International (not Gallup or Gallup Poll). For further details see website: www.wingia.com


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