And the world's unhappiest country is, officially…

And the world's unhappiest country is, officially…


norman lebrecht

February 16, 2012

You thought bankrupt Greece or borderline Portugal? Forget it.

War-torn Sudan or Sri Lanka? Relatively happy on this scale.

Mob-ruled Mexico? Positiviely beaming.

The world’s unhappiest country, according the annual IPSOS survey, is Hungary.

It has always been a morose place, but it’s down 4 percent this year and falling. This racist government is getting everyone down.

The happiest land, by the way, is Indonesia. Book your flights now.

(Thanks to composer John Donne for links)



  • Istvan Horthy says:

    It certainly isn’t true that Hungary “has always been a morose place”: Budapest has been a lively city with much renovation work done up until the first five or so years of this century. Also the Hungarians have a great sense of humour and ‘joie de vivre’. They have lived through worse periods than this!

  • Doug says:

    Current economic and political state aside, this is simply a Hungarian trait. No big news here. I ought to know, I live with one.

  • Greg Hlatky says:

    Odd that political repression in Hungary so often leads to benefits for the world. The list of eminent scientists who either left Hungary or whose parents did so due to Naziism or Communism is a long one: Szilard, von Neumann, von Karman, Teller, Wigner, Olah, Polanyi, Eros and others. Then again, the joke is that they had to leave to make their names: in Hungary they would have been considered average.

  • I was surprised that South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the UK are all 21% very happy. I live in South Africa and many people are unhappy because of the high crime rate, 25% unemployment and massive corruption amongst politicians and government agencies. I don’t know much about conditions in Saudi Arabia, but I would have thought people living in the UK should be a great deal happier than South Africans!

  • Renata says:

    Happiness is not about money, education,violence. I lived in Brazil for 26 years, they are not rich, but they are the most happier place in the world, because the way that people are, even when the things are difficult, they have a big smile, they are friends with everybody, this is true happiness. I lived in USA now, but even the people here has more money, they really dont know what is true happiness. They say I love you all the time, but most of them dont know what is love, dont now how to show love. In Brazil the people rarely say I love you, because when they say it, is really true.Is not ”good morning’, is I “love you”. Just think about that