Europeans say their lives are getting worse – Gallup

The European Union may have won the Nobel prize, but most E.U. citizens aren't feeling the Nobel glow. Europeans across the continent are reporting lower life ratings than last year, according to a new Gallup poll, with Spain, Cyprus and France seeing the largest dips in the number of citizens who say they're "thriving."

"Gallup's global surveys indicate that for most European residents, life is little improved -- and for many far worse -- in 2012 compared with the start of the global financial crisis," Gallup concluded.

An average of 37 percent of E.U. residents reported that they were thriving in 2012, while the majority, 54 percent, continue to be "struggling," and 10 percent are "suffering." But the misfortune isn't evenly felt. In the stronger economies of Northern and Western Europe, most people say they're doing fine, while more people are suffering than thriving in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Greece.

In Spain and Greece in particular, sentiments have gotten steadily worse since 2008:

Gallup
Gallup

Southern Europe's dissatisfaction has manifested itself in countless austerity protests that sometimes turn violent. In Spain, where the youth unemployment rate has climbed above 50 percent, more than 20,000 people marched through Madrid last week holding banners reading, “They want to ruin the country. We have to stop them,” the AP reported.

And some 50,000 demonstrators met German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she visited Athens recently. In July, Gallup also found that Greeks are the most pessimistic about their lives.

Here's Gallup's chart showing the full ratings:

Gallup

 

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Max Fisher · October 16, 2012