Sure, the end of a maddeningly long airport security line, any square foot of the DMV, and a sweltering subway car packed to the gills are arguably among the most miserable places in the entire world. But when it comes to the actual most miserable countries in the world, an annual report from the Cato Institute has again named the nations with the highest levels of misery -- and a few countries on the ranking might surprise you.
As in previous years, Professor Steve Hanke of Johns Hopkins University used a mix of economic data -- the sum of each country's unemployment, inflation rates, and banking lending rates minus the percent change in GDP per capita -- to calculate a "Misery Index score." For the third year in a row, the aptly titled Misery Index, has named Venezuela the most miserable nation in the world followed by Ukraine, Brazil, Argentina, and South Africa, according to a report by Business Insider.
In fact, the report suggests that Venezuela's rampant misery has actually worsened since the previous year's report, with its score skyrocketing from 106.3 to 214.9 year over year. The steep rise is believed to be the result of the South American nation's high levels of inflation, according to a report by the PanAm Post. Meanwhile, Ukraine also earned more misery points, moving from fourth place to second place on the ranking. Other obviously miserable countries, like Syria, did not appear on the Misery Index due to the lack of economic data from Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
Here's the full ranking, including each country's Misery Index score, per the Business Insider report:
15. Greece - 29
14. Uruguay - 29.1
13. Macedonia - 29.2
12. Moldova - 30.4
11. Egypt - 31.6
10. Serbia - 32.3
9. Jamaica - 32.6
8. Palestinian Territory - 36.4
7. Iran - 36.7
6. Russian Federation - 37.4
5. South Africa - 40
4. Argentina - 60
3. Brazil - 67.8
2. Ukraine - 82.7
1. Venezuela - 214.9
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and was surprised by a few countries on the list, but not most of them. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.