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Are You Satisfied? The World's Most Optimistic Countries

Are You Satisfied? The World's Most Optimistic Countries

Satisfied with the direction your country is headed? The Chinese sure are. The rising nation tops the list of optimistic countries with a glass much more full than those of trailing countries. Eighty-six percent of the Chinese are content with China's direction, compared to 61 percent in second place Australia, according to the Pew Research Center. Eighty-two percent of the Chinese are also happy with their economy.

Economic growth and national excitement surrounding the Beijing Olympics seems to be boosting China's civic mood — in 2002, only 48 percent of the Chinese responded positively. But the people still have their concerns, most notably, worries about inflation, rising prices, and environmental degradation burden the Chinese.

To see how other countries compare to China, and who makes the list of the top-10 most optimistic countries


Who is happy with the direction their country is headed?

  1. China — 86 percent content
  2. Australia — 61 percent content
  3. Russia — 54 percent content
  4. Spain — 50 percent content
  5. Jordan — 49 percent content
  6. Poland — 42 percent content
  7. India — 41 percent content
  8. Egypt — 40 percent content
  9. South Africa — 36 percent content
  10. Germany — 34 percent content

And some other favorites:

  • France — 29 percent content
  • United States — 23 percent content
  • Lebanon — 6 percent content

With China and Russia on top and the US and France decidedly not — do any of the placements surprise you?


TruthSetsYouFree TruthSetsYouFree 9 years
For all of the users who have bashed on China, citing communist authoritative governments, unruly dictatorship, censorship, Lack of free speech, primitive governments and policies, etc,etc, etc...I'm calling all of you out. You heard me, I'M CALLING ALL OF YOU OUT!!! Thats right, all of you are simply xenophobes...a 21st centure version of "yellow peril". And I'll tell you why... First off, to all the people making references to the Chinese people getting shot at for not answering positively in this, do you live in a cave or what? I think it's absolutely HILARIOUS that the same people who say this, are the same that have not even been in an Asian country before. Wow, your true colors are really showing. I don't need to get into details because others have already given you an updated history lesson regarding China's government and history, but for the sake of all of us, please get yourself an updated version of the Encyclopedia Brittanica. It isn't 1960 anymore and that version you have currently is really starting to fall apart. Secondly, for all you people saying that this survey isn't accurate....who are you to judge?.. and have you even been to China before? Let me tell you something, the US might be good at many things, but one thing it'll never top is the pride that many Chinese have in their country. I kid you not, I have met many people who have experienced the Chinese Cultural Revolution and had every single right to hate on their homeland, but they do not believe in doing so. Rather, they still stand by their country despite the ups and downs. It's part of the culture, when you have over 5000 years of history, there is definitely sense of tradition and loyalty in your home. And not a single event or time period can wipe out any of those feelings and beliefs. You've seen it recently during the Sichuan earthquake, when news corps finally gave an UNBIASED view of the Chinese people telling them that they believed and trusted that their government would react quickly, which they did. Sure, we may THINK that they really aren't happy, but we are NOT them, are we? So for those of you making quirky remarks about them lying about their happiness, I highly suggest you actually go over there and experience it for yourself (Although many of you won't, but there is still hope for a few of you). And lastly, for those hardcore critics who keep on complaining about China's lack of the "stuff" that most "civilized" countries have (clean air, proper infrustructure, etc.)...Might I remind you that China is going through its own "Industrial Revolution" right now? (Yes, Industrial Revolution, does that sound familiar to you?) If you might remember from your history class, the American industrial revolution lasted for the greater part of a century. And do you recall the kinds of human rights violations that occured during that time period? (Yes, poor working conditions, kids working 14 hours a day without breaks, lack of proper infrustructure (Great Chicago Fire, anyone?), pollution due to urban sprawl, discrimination/segregation, and the list goes on...) So, are you telling me that you're willing to give America around 70 years to work out the kinks, but you're not going to give China even a DECADE to "modernize" itself? Even with the technology we have today, you can not turn over a country of 1.3 billion overnight (or years, or even ten years...remember, it took America 70 years, and thats just for the first phase). And for those of you who do not understand that China has been making progress rapidly, please refer again to my first body paragraph,or read up what similar posts had to say. Yes, you critics can complain as you want, but your gonna end up complaining your life away in that case because things don't just happen with the snap of your fingers or the shake of your fist. So please, rather than point your fingers at China, perhaps you should do something more productive for your own life? Rather than complaining why other people are happy and trying to make excuses for them, wouldn't it be better if you go about your life in a positive way and learn that all things will settle in time? Maybe this is why only 23% of American's are satisfied with their lives?...Who would've thunk it? -"The Truth Will Set You Free"
JonnFair JonnFair 9 years
I'm not surprised that China is on top of the list with 86% of people are satisfied and happy of their country is heading, and I'm also not surprised that the U.S. is close to the bottom of the list at only 23% people satisfied. China's economy has grown rapidly the last 10 years so are the Chinese Yen. On the other hand, the U.S. economy has slided downward the last 10 years starting with the Hi-Tech burst to the 911 incident. Therefore, the poll is definately accurate, if not, could be higher than 86% if more Chinese complete the survey. For those of you who said Chinese people are "Forced" to agreed with the Chinese goverment or "Scared" to say bad about the Chinese government, are immature, inexperienced, mis-represented, mis-understood or irrelevant. Actually China is more of a "Capitalistic" country than many people think or know. In my opinion, China is more "Capitalistic" than the U.S., especially if you look into China's massive buiness trading with other countries of the world compared to the U.S. foreign policies and trading with the rest of the world. For those of you who still think China is a "Communist" country is either still living in the 19th or 20th century or mis-informed by the U.S. corrupted and bullsh** media. Another reason for China's rising economy is due to it's President and government officials' good decision-making. My hats-off to them!! On the other hand, the U.S. economy's collapse is also due to the President and it's government officials and decision-making. It takes one or a few government officials to make or break a country's economy. One good example is Hitler, if you know history, you know who I am talking about. I found it kind of funny and at the same time kind of annoying too as to so many people in the U.S. media, government and citizens criticize China's human rights and communism. How often you hear China's government and/or citizens complain or criticize about the U.S. issues? If China's communism and human rights are really that bad, why and how it's economy has grown and rise so rapidly? Why do so many large U.S. corporations such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks, McDonald's, etc. open new stores and do business in China? Were those CEO's and Executives stupid or crazy? I am a U.S. citizen and have lived in California for 28 years. I came here when I was 7 years old. I've seen and experience a lot here. I consider myself half Chinese half American. I think we Americans like to complain, whine and make excuse. A lot of us Americans are racist, bias, cocky, rude and selfish. Don't get me wrong, there are also a lot of nice Americans too, but unfortunately there's also a lot of bad Americans as well. Both the U.S. and China has their strengths and weaknesses, good and bad people, as well as their own countries internal issues. I just think and hope our U.S. government can resolve our own issues FIRST before complaining and talking trash about other countries. We're just being NOISY about other countries' business. Has anyone ever asked or thought about this question: "Why did 911 happen in the U.S.?" Why didn't it happen in China, Canada, Australia, etc.? We've heard so much in the media talking about how "Evil" the terrorists are, blah blah blah. But they never ask WHY the terrorist and Bin Ladin did this to the U.S.? Did they really like us so much? Or what did we do WRONG to result in this 911 incident? Well, I rest my case here. I post this message just want to voice my FAIR and UNBIAS opinion and to clarify and present some facts to back up my points.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Only 175,000 interviews in 54 countries. That's it. I wouldn't even say that was a representative of Dallas, Texas, let alone 54 different countries. Sheesh.
True-Song True-Song 9 years
But this poll isn't about how a country is perceived. It's about self-reported levels of satisfaction.
janneth janneth 9 years
To paraphrase undave many posts ago, we in the US are perceived to be disatisfied because we have both high expectations and the freedom to be "unhappy".
janohoh janohoh 9 years
Sorry yuning521, ( post 101, 104) you're not going to fool anyone here, and for the ones who don't know better, they're going to be enlightened....that's the beauty of free speech. I can tell the truth and God willing, I will be able to continue to do so without fear for myself or my family. Tell me what you know of the parents who were taken to prison for demanding answers concerning the schools that collapsed and killed their mandatory one and only child during the earthquake? Where are they and why haven't they returned to their homes? (for adult viewing only, very graphic stories and images)
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
My "holy hell :jawdrop: " was directed at the number of new posters. Then I saw that the site was linked to.
janohoh janohoh 9 years
Great Sommelier...I saw you "Holy hell" response, did you by chance go to ?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Do you mean not split down the middle of our perceived dissatisfaction? I certainly am not dissatisfied. Of course I was polled.
atsidiwashichu atsidiwashichu 9 years
At last, something we are not spllit down the middle about.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
I would also like to point out that the chinese were polled BEFORE the earthquake their government so poorly handled. Wonder if that would have effected the numbers. And were any of you polled? I certainly wasn't. What was the total number of people polled worldwide? In the US?
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Oh, we were linked!
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 9 years
Holy Hell!! :jawdrop:
janohoh janohoh 9 years
Deutsch Texan,,,I thought something similar to your response to greenwill, things that make you say, hmmm
janohoh janohoh 9 years
In case you didn't catch this in my post, if you want the truth about China, and be fore warned, this is NOT a site for young people to read or view, go to , pass it on to anyone you know that is concerned about the inhumanities taking place in this world.
Demdra23 Demdra23 9 years
I believe that the best way to solve alot of our issues is by either a return to isolation mentality or to create an EU of North America with our neigbhors of Mexico and Canada. Option1: Isolation option: (Catch 22, meaning damned if we do, damned if we don't) If we return to Isolation, the world will condemn us for not helping other nations out because we are the strongest and most powerful. If we don't return to isolation, we will continue our decay overall. Option2: EU of North America (Confederation Possible) It also allow for a rebirth of our society and allow us to retain more resources than even the EU could offer. Allowing us a wider and cheaper Workforce to compete with global.
DeutschTexan DeutschTexan 9 years
greenwill, were do u live. do u live in downtown beijing. i was there 2 months ago. and people were scared to say anything bad about their goverment. they were afraid they were going to lose their house. they family. their job. they were afraid of being killed. they wouldnt talk to the press or the tourists about what was going on
greenwill greenwill 9 years
Hi, 31,34,and 45, your arrogance comes from your ignorance. You certainly and apparently have no idea about what a real China is and how Chinese are thinking about their own country. I am a Chinese and I can tell you if i say "I'm not satisfied with China", nothing will happen to me and I can go on to say what I'm not satisfied with. I can truly feel we are on the right way for a better society because progress is being made everyday. What does "Communist" mean to you? Devil? Ghost? Why you always label China with communist when you don't really understand what it mean? Why you always put ideology in the first place while actually it means nothing? As a common citizen of China, I call on you to stop doing that. It hurt the feelings of Chinese people. Stop criticizing other people until you have a serious look at yourself.
DeutschTexan DeutschTexan 9 years
i agree with janohoh
janohoh janohoh 9 years
Wow, amazing how the press omits the uncomfortable truths. Who were these happy Chinese people? The imprisoned parents of the school children who died as a result of schools collapsing in the recent earthquake due to building codes not being met and who dared to complain too loudly? Maybe the 1.5 million people who lost their homes in Beijing so the Olympic buildings could be constructed? Or perhaps the families of the thousands of religious/political prisoners who've died as a result of their organs being taken involuntarily for organ transplant purposes? Want the truth about China? Go to, (but not if you're feint of heart, it is graphic and horrific, be warned)
DeutschTexan DeutschTexan 9 years
OF COURSE THE CHINEES PEOPLE ARE GOING TO SAY THAT THEY LOVE THE GOVERMENT if they dont they get a bullet in the head. its the cold truth.
Jacobus Jacobus 9 years
So-o. Why shouldn't China be optimistic about things including their economy? We gave then our old one - the production-based one that worked - on a silver platter signed by a zillion CEOs. When vast numbers of Americans are losing jobs and homes because their work was literally shipped overseas (many entire manufacturing plants with machinery included), the dif between our levels of optimism is rooted in reality, not in some emotional angst or being spoiled. Wholly Chao J
melsierr4 melsierr4 9 years
I don't think it matters whether China is a communist country or not, who cares!! I'm happy that other countries are getting ahead.......good for them. Why should we always complain about other nations who are moving ahead. I think we should focus on our own problems and be happy for others. We are only here because of our own greed. We should focus mending ties with South America and forget about the old world. Maybe have an American union, where we can all travel from border to border and trade happily with each-other and maintain our wealth in the continent of America. I too crazy?
stunningid stunningid 9 years
China is not communist anymore. The definition of communism is "a socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of a classless, stateless society based on common ownership of the means of production". In reality that basically means the state owns everything. The whole "common ownership" idea never really happened. People in China are all about owning things. They are not communist at all. They own their land, houses, cars, etc... The state has privatized a lot of capital. China is still a socialist one party state. The single party could abuse it's power similar to the old Soviet Union abuses and the people can't vote. However, I've been to China several times and people aren't likely to rock the boat for more freedoms when for the first time in a century most of the country can get cool materialistic things like food, clothes and clean water. Finally, I seriously doubt any Chinese citizen would feel pressured about saying they are or are not satisfied with the Chinese direction. I've had many conversations about their country with people working for our China international sub and they are quite candid with their opinions. They may have a problem publishing something to the web with their name on it, but this survey was anonymous so it's a different story.
Daniz0rz Daniz0rz 9 years
I'm pretty sure China is not communist anymore, though it may have communistic tendencies. I'm also not surprised China is a happy nation because they are improving. Besides that, I'm sure the polls are anonymous and if anyone said China was displeasing, their anonymity would remain as so.
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