Nearly one in four Indians rates life as “suffering” while South Asians viewed their living standards worse in 2011 than most residents in other parts of Asia,according to a Gallup poll released today.
Announcing the results of its latest survey,Gallup said that at least one in five residents in Nepal (31 per cent),Afghanistan (30 per cent),India (24 per cent),Sri Lanka (22 percent),and Pakistan (21 per cent) rated their lives poorly enough to be considered “suffering.”
Bangladesh is the only South Asian country where suffering is significantly lower than its regional neighbours,at 10 per cent.
Gallup said its results are based on face-to-face and telephone interviews with approximately 1,000 adults,aged 15 and older,in 20 countries in Asia.
The survey was conducted between April 5 and December 4,2011.
Gallup said it classifies respondents as “thriving,” “struggling,” or “suffering”,according to how they rate their current and future lives on a ladder scale with steps numbered from 0 to 10 based on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale.
Respondents were not asked to classify their lives according to these labels.
Those who rate their present life a seven or higher on the ladder and their life in five years an eight or higher are classified as thriving,while those who rate both dimensions a four or lower are considered suffering.
Respondents whose ratings fall in between are considered struggling.
“The relatively high levels of suffering in South Asia likely reflect the economic turmoil,war,conflict,domestic terrorism,or separatist movements that have afflicted many of these countries in the past decade,” Gallup said.
“Additionally,most South Asian countries currently have higher levels of unemployment and corruption and lower levels of college education than the rest of Asia,” Gallup added.
Relatively low levels of suffering in Bangladesh may run counter to extremely poor economic conditions in the nation,it said.
According to 2011 World Bank data,GDP per capita in Bangladesh is the third lowest in Asia,slightly above Nepal and Afghanistan — countries with the highest levels of suffering in Asia,at 31 per cent and 30 per cent,respectively.