Which is The Most Stressful Country in The World?


Road rage, commuter rage, long queues, feral youth, feral urban foxes: these are just some of the aspects of life that make it one long stressful experience. But how does your experience compare with that of others around the world? You can have a look right here:  Bloomberg has compiled a list of the most stressful countries in the world based on seven equally weighted variables using the latest available data. Countries that did not have data available for all the variables were not included in the analysis.

See also: How to determine which country is best to move to for work


  • Murder rates – the homicide rate per 100,000
  • Purchasing power parity – using GDP per capita, in dollars, adjusted “for purchasing power parity”
  • Income equality – using the Gini Index, where 0 indicates perfect equality and 100 represents perfect inequality
  • Corruption levels - using the Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions index that scores countries using a scale of 0 to 100: 0 represents the most corrupt.
  • Unemployment – the unemployment rate
  • Air pollution -  using the yearly average concentration of “fine particles smaller than 10 microns, measured in micrograms per cubic meter”
  • Life expectancy – years at birth

The countries were awarded points for every variable according to their relative position in that category’s ranking. The country with the least stressful score for each category was given 0 points and the country with the greatest stress level was awarded 100 points.


Based on Bloomberg’s report, Nigeria is the most stressful (and I have it on good authority that it is, indeed, highly stressful) of the 74 countries analysed, whereas the least stressful, to which we should all move, is Norway. If you live in the UK you should take comfort that there are a great many countries more stressful than the UK: the UK ranked at position 56. And the US? Only a couple of notches more stressful than the UK, it raked in 54th place. Unsurprisingly, most of the least stressful countries are European (although Australia is the sixth least stressful country and Canada the 10th least stressful), and the most stressful countries are a mixed bag from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Table: The Top 10 Most Stressful Countries in the World


MR: Murder Rate

GDP: GDP per Capita

IE: Income Inequality

CS: Corruption Score

UR: Unemployment Rate

AR: Air Pollution

LE: Life Expectancy

Country Total Score MR GDP IE CS UR AP LE
Nigeria (most stresful) 70.1 12.2 $1,676 48.8 27 23.9% 123.6 53
South Africa 70.0 31.8 7,257 63.1 43 25.7 51.6 58
El Salvador 57.6 69.2 3,935 48.3 38 5.7 51.7 72
Mongolia 55.4 8.7 4,213 36.5 36 6.1 279.0 68
Guatemala 55.1 38.5 3,415 55.1 33 4.1 48.2 69
Colombia 53.6 31.4 8,238 58.5 36 10.3 70.9 78
Pakistan 52.7 7.8 1,309 30.0 27 9.2 197.7 67
Jamaica 52.3 40.9 5,601 45.5 38 13.0 47.6 75
Macedonia 52.0 1.9 5,050 43.2 43 30.0 70.0 75
Bolivia 51.5 8.9 2,674 53.0 34 5.4 82.0 67


A number of factors contribute towards the feeling of stress, as this table shows. The perceived level of corruption in a country, the level of danger, health and wellbeing (life expectancy), the quality of the environment (air pollution) income distribution levels and, of course, money. If you are planning to relocate for work, these are all important factors for your consideration; data such as this from Bloomberg provides very useful insights.

Are you surprised by any of the entries in this list? Add your comments to the box at the bottom of this post.