Stark and Levin articles featured: The Gallup World Poll Surveys Its 160th Country
Friday, June 1, 2012
By Jon Clifton, Partner
The Gallup World Poll, now in its eighth year, achieved an important milestone in November — surveying its 160th country — Swaziland. The Gallup World Poll systematically surveys global attitudes and behaviors, and encompasses multiple years’ worth of data from most of the 160 countries it has surveyed since 2005.
Gallup has been conducting individual country studies around the world since the late 1930s; however, it wasn’t until 2005 that Gallup started asking the same questions in countries around the world at least once per year in an initiative known as the Gallup World Poll. The initiative has grown significantly since that time, and Gallup now surveys multiple times a year in many nations. The World Poll has also led to a number of “firsts” for Gallup, including its first surveys in countries like Cuba, Myanmar, Libya, Turkmenistan, Comoros, Syria, and the Somaliland region.
The purpose of the Gallup World Poll is to track the current state of the world on the most important issues facing humanity, such as food security, unemployment, and wellbeing. Gallup’s commitment to developing long-term trends in virtually every country in the world provides a unique perspective — the outlook of the people — on historic events like the Arab Spring, the earthquake in Haiti, and the global economic meltdown.
Numerous institutions now use the information that Gallup collects through the World Poll in their own work. Examples include:
- The World Bank’s Global FINDEX: A project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to measure how people in 188 countries — including the poor, women, and rural residents — save, borrow, make payments, and manage risk.
- The Silatech Index: The first comprehensive poll of youth aged 15 to 29 in the 19 League of Arab States to focus on their outlook and that of society on the subject of job creation.
- The United Nations Human Development Index: A standard means of measuring wellbeing and human development.
- The OECD’s Better Life Index: A tool to compare some of the key factors — like education, housing, environment, etc. — that contribute to wellbeing in OECD countries.
- The ILO’s Social Unrest Index in the World of Work Report: Measures the risk for social unrest in countries based on factors such as unemployment, inequality, and public confidence in government.
- The Legatum Prosperity Index: Assesses 110 countries on 89 different variables, each of which has a demonstrated effect on economic growth or on personal wellbeing.
Gallup Seniors Scientists and other world-class researchers have analyzed data from the World Poll to produce groundbreaking studies. These experts include academics, economists, and a Nobel prize winner: Angus Deaton, Daniel Kahneman, Ed Diener, Alan Krueger, Betsey Stevenson, Justin Wolfers, Lisa Berkman, Allan McCutcheon, Lee Becker, Rafael Di Tella, John Helliwell, Richard Easterlin, Jeff Levin, Leora Klapper, Asli Demirguc-Kunt, Rodney Stark, and Carol Graham, among others.
In 2005, Gallup made a commitment to survey as much of the world as possible for 100 years. This not only means the World Poll will continue to churn out more discoveries about what people everywhere think and feel, but it also will continue to provide world leaders with the will of this planet’s 7 billion citizens.
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