America Is More Stressed Than Venezuela, Gallup Poll Shows

Venezuela protests
Anti-Maduro regime protesters in Venezuela's capital Caracas on March 9. According to a new Gallup survey, Americans are more stressed out than Venezuelans. RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images

A greater proportion of Americans reported experiencing more stress than Venezuelans, according to a new poll by Gallup. Despite its status as the most wealthy and powerful nation in the world, the U.S. population was among the most stressed out.

Gallup's 2019 Global Emotions Report, which surveyed populations all over the world about their mental well-being, found that 55 percent of Americans surveyed last year said they experienced a lot of stress during the day—the highest level ever recorded in the country.

That places the U.S. in joint fourth place with Iran, Sri Lanka and Albania on the list of most- stressed populations in the world. In top place was Greece at 59 percent, second was the Philippines at 58 percent, and third was Tanzania at 57 percent.

Down in 12th place at 52 percent was Venezuela, a country in the grip of a painful economic and political crisis, where there's rioting in the streets, people are starving, millions of refugees have fled and the threat of civil war hangs heavy.

The report also found that 45 percent of Americans said they worried a lot—another record high—and 22 percent said they felt a lot of anger, matching the previous high.

Americans between the ages of 15 and 49, and in the poorest 20 percent of the population, were the most stressed, worried and angry, of all the groups surveyed.

"The disconnect between a strong economy and Americans' increasing negative emotions illustrates how GDP and other hard economic data tell only part of the story," Gallup said in its report.

"In fact, the levels of negative emotions in the past several years are even higher than during the U.S. recession years. Given the ties that researchers are starting to find between negative effects like these and physical health and longevity, leaders need the whole story."

However, 90 percent of Americans polled also said they felt respected and 82 percent said they experienced enjoyment.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately one in five adults in the U.S.—43.8 million people—experience mental illness in any given year.

Moreover, one in 25 adults —9.8 million people—experienced a serious life-limiting mental illness every year.

There are a number of pressures on Americans, including exorbitant health care costs, burdensome student debt, stagnating incomes and racial and gender inequalities.

In its 2018 report, the State of Mental Health in America, the group Mental Health America warned that 9.6 million Americans said they experienced suicidal thoughts and that there was a serious shortage of support providers across the country.