Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 7th of December 2017 to The Sounding Line.
Pew Research recently conducted a poll of 37,000 people in 38 countries, asking respondents whether or not they felt that life was better or worse today than it was 50 years ago. The results are shown below:
Vietnam tops the list as the country that most unanimously feels life has improved in the past 50 years. Considering that Vietnam was in the midst of the grueling Vietnam War 50 years ago, this shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise. The rest of the countries reporting a positive change include a mix of countries whose economies have grown rapidly in the past 50 years and countries whose geopolitical landscape has improved dramatically since the 1960s. 50 years ago Spain was still under the military dictatorship of Fransisco Franco, Poland and half of Germany were under socialist/communist control and behind the ‘Iron Curtain,’ Russia was under Soviet rule, and South Africa was under Apartheid. Interestingly, the UK, Canada, and Australia also feel that things have improved slightly in the last 50 years.
On the other end of the spectrum, a full 72% of people living in the ‘socialist paradise’ of Venezuela feel that things are worse now than they were 50 years ago. Quite close behind Venezuela comes Mexico. Despite being touted as a leading emerging market economy and despite its continued popularity as a tourist destination, rampant gang violence and political corruption have taken hold of Mexico. In fact, the drug war in Mexico is estimated to be the second deadliest ongoing conflict in the world.
Perhaps the most clear trend in the survey is that every country in South America included in the poll, except Chile, thinks that life is worse now than it was 50 years ago. It should also be noted that France, Italy, Greece, and the US also feel that life is getting worse.
A map of the results can be found below:
P.S. We have added email distribution for The Sounding Line. If you would like to be updated via email when we post a new article, please click here. It’s free and we won’t send any promotional materials.