Gallup: Overwhelming Optimism In Sub-Saharan Africa

Gallup: Overwhelming Optimism In Sub-Saharan Africa

Around nine out of 10 people in 15 sub-Saharan countries considered among the world’s poorest, are highly optimistic about their lives, according to a Gallup poll, Business Insider reports.

Gallup released research today about the optimism of countries in 2012. Data was compiled by asking respondents to rate their lives on the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale with zero being the worst and 10, the best. Respondents were asked to rate their lives today, and their lives five years from now. The difference between the two scores was used to calculate a country’s optimism or pessimism.

The 15 top-ranking countries for optimism, according to the poll, are: Burkina Faso, Cormoros, Niger, Benin, Guinea, Somaliland region, Chad, Rwanda, Senegal, Turkmenistan, Mauritania, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Congo Kinshasa and Uganda. Scores ranged from 95 to 86.

By comparison, optimism in 29 European countries was lower, with scores ranging from 47 for Latvia, Lithuania and Ireland to 24 for Greece and 23 for Switzerland.

Gallup acknowledges that optimism may be widespread in some African nations because “people cannot imagine that their lives could get any worse,” the Business Insider report said.

However, there may be cause for real optimism in Africa. In 2012, Citi published a report predicting sub-Saharan Africa’s share of the world’s economy will increase 100 percent. A recently updated U.N. population prediction says Africa’s population could quadruple by the end of the century, the report says.