The Misery Index, invented by American economist Arthur Okun, is way of figuring out the well being of a society by adding the inflation rate to the unemployment rate. It is a pretty straightforward calculation, and while there is certainly more to human happiness than holding a steady job and enjoying affordable goods, those two factors do indeed go a long way towards making life better.
According to Bloomberg‘s most recent calculations,Thailand — colloquially known as “The Land of Smiles” — tops 74 countries with the least amount of misery, scoring an enviable 1.11 percent. Singapore, Japan, Switzerland, and Iceland round up the top five. The U.S. ranks a middling 21st place, with China landing in the 23rd spot.
At the other end of the spectrum is Venezuela with an incredible 188.2 percent score, reflected in chronic food shortages and an epidemic of crime. It is followed by quite a margin by Bosnia (48.97 percent) and South Africa (32.90 percent).