PIIE Chart: Are We Dissatisfied More Than Before?


Last year and early 2015 are fixed in many people's minds as the "year of protest." But are citizens around the world really increasingly frustrated with the direction their country is taking? We combined data from 166 surveys in 24 countries, and found that on average the share of people who say they are satisfied with the way things are going in their country tends to be stable, except for periods of severe economic slowdown.

In most countries, the majority of citizens in most years say they are dissatisfied (see details about our sample here), and that is probably a useful instinct that encourages people to ask how things can be done better—but it turns out that last year was in no way unusual.

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