Where Can Expatriates Find the Most Emotional People

Recent research by global poll organization Gallup has indicated that it is Singaporeans that are the least emotional people in the world.

The survey, which questioned people on whether they felt strong negative or positive emotions on a daily basis, found that just 36% of people in Singapore admitted to having strong feelings one way or the other. Singapore was followed by Georgia and Lithuania (37%), and Russia, Madagascar, the Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan, all on 38%.

The countries were expats can expect to meet the most emotional residents were the Philippines, where 60% reported being emotional on a daily basis, followed by El Salvador (57%), Bahrain (56%), and Oman and Colombia (55%). Chile, Costa Rica, Canada, Guatemala, Bolivia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Nicaragua and the United States all came in with 54% of people feeling emotions on a daily basis.

Gallup compiled the findings to their research by questioning residents in more than 150 countries on their emotions by asking participants to specify whether they experienced a set of emotions. The negative emotions included were anger, stress, sadness, physical pain, and worry; and the positive emotions included feeling well rested, being treated with respect, enjoyment, smiling and laughing a lot, and learning or doing something interesting. Gallup then averaged the results for each country.

The results indicated that people living in the Middle East and North Africa were most likely to experience negative emotions, with Iraq, Bahrain, and the Palestinian Territories being top of the list of the countries with the most negative daily experiences.

Elsewhere, expatriates can expect to find the most positive people in the world in Latin America, with Panama, Paraguay, and Venezuela at the top of that list.

The research was carried out by Gallup as part of an initiative that aims to examine the behavioral indicators and the effects that they have on a society’s wellbeing. Many worldwide leaders are starting to incorporate these behavioral-based indicators into the metrics they use to assess the performance of their country as a whole.

The organization carried out the research as behavioral indicators such as positive and negative emotions are a vital measure of a society’s wellbeing. Leaders worldwide are starting to incorporate such behavioral based indicators into the metrics they use to evaluate their countries because they realized that traditional economic indicators such as GDP and 40-hour workweeks alone do not, and cannot, quantify the human condition.

While higher incomes may improve people’s emotional wellbeing, they can only do so to a certain extent. In the United States, for example, Nobel Prize winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Angus Deaton found that after individuals make $75,000 annually, additional income will have little meaningful effect on how they experience their lives.

Jon Clifton, a Gallup partner in Washington, commented on the results: “If you measure Singapore by the traditional indicators, they look like one of the best-run countries in the world.

“But if you look at everything that makes life worth living, they’re not doing so well.”

He also added, “This research shows that the solutions to improve positive emotions or decrease negative emotions do not necessarily go beyond higher incomes.

“Singapore leadership needs to consider strategies that lie outside of the traditional confines of classic economics and would be well-advised to include wellbeing in its overall strategies if it is going to further improve the lives of its citizenry.