The 2019 Misery Index tells us we’re sad because of bank lending rates.
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While it may be hard to find a reason to smile nowadays, it seems that Malaysia is the 10th least miserable country in the world.
This not-so-miserable news comes courtesy of Cato Institute – an American public policy research organisation that released the 2019 Misery Index that ranks 95 countries based on their misery.
However, the ranking uses economic indicators with data from 2018 to rank and score countries, which are:
- Lending rate
- Unemployment rate
- GDP per capita growth
To calculate each Misery Index score, a simple formula is used:
Higher values on the first three elements are considered “bad” because they make people more miserable. The “good” high value is GDP per capita growth.
So you just subtract the good from the bad to see, well, how bad things are.
Malaysia, not so miserable
Based on these calculations, Malaysia scored 5.1 which places it at No 86, or the 10th least miserable country overall.
According to the Misery Index, the major contributing factor for Malaysia’s misery are the bank lending rates.
While Malaysians don’t seem so miserable, we pale in comparison to our northern neighbour, Thailand- whose moniker as the ‘Land of Smiles’ turns out to be more than just a catchy phrase.
With a remarkably low score of 1.7, Thailand’s reasons to smile include low unemployment rates since 2011 and public infrastructure investments that successfully attract foreign investments, thus boosting the country’s GDP.
On the southern end, Singapore is slightly more miserable than us at No 84 with a score of 5.2 – also due to the bank lending rates.
However, the unfortunate title of the most miserable country in the world is Venezuela, that suffered an economic crisis and hyperinflation that began in 2016.
Check out the 2019 Misery Index visualised (HERE).
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