Written by Isabel Whiteley
Following on from our round-up of the ten happiest countries in the world, we thought we’d bring your attention to the ten saddest. Things like coursework, sorting out student finance and having to get up early for lectures can seem the end of the world sometimes for most of us. What we consider to be disastrous when you consider what some people are going through, are ridiculously trivial. I’m sure you’re all aware that many people in the world don’t have the opportunities we do – basic rights including education, access to food and places to sleep. Here are the top 10 saddest countries in the world, with residents suffering and living in horrendous conditions.
Angola is a country in Southern Africa with a population of 18.5 million; and with 86.6% of the people believing business and government corruption is widespread, personal freedom in Angola has fallen significantly in recent years. Additionally, the country had a civil war a decade ago, but rebuilding is now in process and certain aspects of Angolan life are starting to improve, but it’s sure going to be a slow process.
Located in the Caribbean with a population of almost 10 million, you’ll more than likely remember the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred in 2010, affecting 3 million people by destroying 250,000 homes and 30,000 commercial buildings. Prior to this, life was still difficult in Haiti, a desolate country with business start-up costs a massive 286.6%; and less than 20% of residents believing it’s a good time to find a job.
In 2011, the US government claimed that the abuse of women and children, and torture by security forces were abuses of human rights in this West African country with 10 million people. Electricity and water shortages are frequent, and affect business’ abilities to stay open, especially when coupled with the problems facing the local economy. These issues further fuel the problem of youth unemployment, which don’t seem like they’re going to be solved any time soon.
A developing Arab country with a population of almost 24 million, it has been negatively affected by decreases in donations to charity and volunteerism levels. As recently as 2011 there have been street protests against poverty, unemployment corruption; and as the president there eliminated the presidential term limit, he is now able to remain president for the rest of his life.
During the 16th-18th centuries, this West African country (population 7 million) was part of a major trading centre for slavery, otherwise known as the ‘Slave Coast’. Today, there are political instability and human rights violations by security forces, making Togo a difficult place to live. On top of this, the education system is suffering from teacher shortages, leaving a 1:42 teacher-to pupil ratio, putting children’s futures in jeopardy.
This South East African country with a population of 9 million has been crowned the title of ‘hungriest country in the world’; making it no wonder that it has placed fifth in the world’s saddest countries. Undernourishment has further risen, resulting in more cases of illnesses such as tuberculosis. Nearly 70% of the population believes there is widespread business and government corruption; with the economy in shambles and slow reconstruction efforts.
Situated in Central Asia with 31 million residents; the ongoing war (one of many) is controversial and still heavily debated, even as troops prepare to withdraw from the country. This war has left Afghanistan in disarray, with the economy, healthcare, education, transport and agriculture destroyed. Left in poverty and surrounded by war undoubtedly makes it very difficult for citizens to live happy lives.
3. Democratic Republic of Congo
With a population of over 75 million, this Central African country – although has an abundance of natural resources, the development, extraction and exploitation of these are limited due to political instability. Congo also suffers from a culture of corruption and lack of infrastructure. Shockingly, large sectors of society perceive violence against women to be normal, and the amount of sexual violence carried out has been described as the worst in the world.
2. Central African Republic
Located (as the name would suggest) in central Africa, with a small population of 4.4million; this country is among the ten poorest in the world, despite the many natural resources it has. It has been plagued by several wars over the years; with the ongoing civil war leading to ethnic cleansing, resulting in a huge population reduction. The teacher-to-pupil ratio is a shocking 1:81, and it is very difficult to get a job or start a business here due to the current climate.
Crowned as the world’s saddest country, this central African country has a population of 10 million. Furthermore, Chad also has the title of the most corrupt country in the world, with corruption present at all levels. The infrastructure here is incomplete, with no railways of its own to utilise. The telecommunication system is both basic and expensive, with Chad having one of the lowest telephone density rates in the world. There is only one television station, but it is state-owned, and since 2006, there has been censorship in the media. More than half the population are illiterate, and only 68% of boys attend primary school, despite attendance being compulsory. Health-wise, in 2004 it was estimated there were fewer than 19 health workers per 100,000 people. Chad is a truly sad place to live, and those who do live there are surrounded by famine and heightened social tensions, making it no wonder than it is the official saddest country in the world of 2014.
All facts and figures taken from the Prosperity Index at http://www.prosperity.com/.