It’s hard to get by when you don’t have a job and the price of goods keeps rising.
That maxim is behind economist Arthur Okun’s dramatically named “Misery Index,” which adds together a country’s unemployment and inflation rates. The higher the number, the more “miserable” your country is.
With inflation extremely low in much of the developed world, it’s worth taking a look at the state of “misery” around the globe. In its new Global Economic Outlook report, Societe Generale put together a chart of how miserable the major global economies are.
Spain, Russia, and Brazil lead the way as the most “miserable.” Spain’s high misery number can be attributed primarily to unemployment, while for Russia and Brazil it’s more about that rising inflation.
On the flip side, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Japan are the “least miserable.” All three have low unemployment and low inflation.
As an end note, it’s worth mentioning that there have been some criticisms of the misery index. In particular, studies show that unemployment influences (un)happiness much more than inflation. So, if you take that into consideration, Russia and Brazil might actually be “less miserable” than this indicator suggests.
Check out all the countries below.
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