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Zimbabwe ranked world's most miserable country; here's where India stands

Unemployment was the leading source of unhappiness in the United States, which ranked 134th on Steve Hanke's Annual Misery Index list

most miserable country

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BS Web Team New Delhi

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Economist Steve Hanke named Zimbabwe as the 'most miserable country' on his Steve Hanke’s Annual Misery Index (HAMI), ranking it 157.

He said that Zimbabwe received the ranking due to inflation and economic mismanagement which has led to dissatisfaction among Zimbabweans.

Hanke assigns a HAMI score for each country by forming an equation using metrics like unemployment, inflation, bank-lending rates, and the percentage change in the gross domestic product (GDP).

"Thanks to stunning inflation, high unemployment, high lending rates, and anemic real GDP growth, Zimbabwe clocks in as the WORLD'S MOST MISERABLE COUNTRY in the Hanke 2022 Annual Misery Index. Need I say more?" Hanke tweeted.

He also slammed the ruling ZANU-PF party and its policies for inflicting "massive misery" on the people of Zimbabwe.

Venezuela, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Argentina, Yemen, Ukraine, Cuba, and Turkey followed Zimbabwe as the world's most miserable countries.

Regarding Syria's ranking as the third least happy country, Hanke told the New York Post that it is unsurprising given the country's 12-year civil war.

Switzerland, on the other hand, was named the happiest country in the world, with the lowest HAMI score, which Hanke attributed to variables such as a low debt-to-GDP ratio.

Kuwait came in second, followed by Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Niger, Thailand, Togo, and Malta.

"Over $74bn in American taxpayer money has been dumped into the USA’s proxy war in Ukraine.  With an unemployment rate of ~20%, Ukraine is now the 8th most miserable country IN THE WORLD according to the Hanke 2022 Annual Misery Index. Yet another great American “success” story," Hanke wrote.

Meanwhile, India came in at number 103 on the list, with unemployment adding to the country's woes.

Unemployment was the leading source of unhappiness in the United States, which ranked 134th. Finland, which is well-known for consistently ranking first in the World Happiness Report, was ranked 109th on the misery index.

"The human condition lies on a vast spectrum between miserable and happy," Hanke was quoted by the New York Post as stating.

Hanke believes that stimulating economic growth is the key to alleviating a country's unhappiness caused by things such as excessive inflation, high borrowing rates, and unemployment.

He emphasised that evaluating different countries’ metrics can provide valuable insights into the happiness or sadness experienced by people around the world.

Hanke's estimate is a modified version of the misery index developed by Arthur Okun, an economist who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under former US President Lyndon B Johnson.

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First Published: May 24 2023 | 3:33 PM IST

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