Africa & Latin America top mental wellbeing report

The Global Mind Project’s 4th annual ‘Mental State of the World’ report, conducted by Sapien Labs in 2023 compiles responses from over 500,000 individuals throughout the year across 71 countries, covering 9 geographic regions (core Anglosphere, Western and Eastern Europe, Latin America, Central, South and South East Asia and West and North Africa).

The report employs six-dimensional scores, including mood & outlook, social self, drive & motivation, adaptability & resilience, cognition, and mind-body connection. These scores are also computed using subsets of the 47 assessed items to provide a more granular view.

The Mental State of the World report is the annual report of the Global Mind Project, an ongoing, comprehensive survey of the mental wellbeing of the Internet-enabled world. The objective of the Global Mind Project is to provide an evolving global map of mental wellbeing and enable deep insights intoits drivers that can be used for more effective management of population mental wellbeing through evidence-based social policy and interventions.

At the top of the rankings are many Latin American and African countries while much of the core Anglosphere ranks in the bottom quartile. This runs counter to the common perception that wealth enhances wellbeing.

In the annual report for 2021, it showed that the average mental wellbeing scores of the internet-enabled populations of countries were strongly and significantly negatively correlated with economic metrics such as per capita GDP and even the Human Development Index.

African countries and their Mental Health Quotient (MHQ)

  1. Tanzania – 88
  2. Nigeria – 83
  3. Zimbabwe – 74
  4. Kenya – 72
  5. Democratic Republic of the Congo – 71
  6. Mozambique – 70
  7. Cote d’Ivoire – 69
  8. Cameroon – 67
  9. Tunisia – 67
  10. Angola – 64

Per the report, Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka and Tanzania top the rankings with MHQ scores of 88 or higher. Brazil, South Africa, the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan (Russian Speaking) are at the bottom of the ranking, with Mental Health Quotient (MHQ) scores ranging from 48 to 53. On the MHQ scale this represents a 14.3% difference between the top and bottom ranked countries.

Average Mental Health Quotient across countries / © Sapiens Labs

Across all dimensions, Adaptability & Resilience and Drive & Motivation scored highest across most countries while Mood & Outlook and Social Self scored lowest. While aggregate scores for each of the 6 dimensions across individual countries broadly followed the trend of overall MHQ scores, there was also some heterogeneity in the rankings for individual dimensions indicating that countries vary in their mental wellbeing profiles.

For example, towards the top of the country ranking, Tanzania and the Dominican Republic showed higher Social Self scores, while Mozambique, Jordan, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia also showed higher scores for this dimension relative to similarly ranked countries, and Singapore, Ecuador, Moldova and Belgium had lower scores for this dimension relative to similarly ranked countries.

Distressed countries / © Sapiens Labs

In addition, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia stood out has having lower Drive & Motivation scores while Bolivia, India, Pakistan and Kazakhstan had higher scores compared to similarly ranked countries.

Similarly Adaptability & Resilience scores for Canada, Germany, Ireland, Australia, South Africa and the United Kingdom were lower compared to similarly ranked countries. The United States had lower Mind-Body Connection scores compared to similarly ranked countries while India, Pakistan and Bolivia showed higher scores for this dimension.

Source: Sapiens Labs

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