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Survey rates happy spots around globe

  • 2000-01-27
  • By Brooke Donald
TALLINN - Is the glass half-empty or half-full? In Lithuania, it appears from a recent international poll, 53 percent of the population believe the former. When asked by researchers from Taylor Nelson Sofres Intersearch if 2000 will be better than 1999, more than half of those polled in the southernmost Baltic country said it would be worse. But Lithuanians are in good, albeit pessimistic, company with many of their Eastern and Central European neighbors believing the same. According to the study, 11 countries in the region of the 17 interviewed have more than 20 percent of respondents saying 2000 will be worse than 1999.

On the flipside, Estonians, along with a handful of other Central and Eastern European countries, see that every cloud has a silver lining, the poll indicates. Georgia (60 percent), Azerbaijan (52 percent) and FYR Macedonia (45 percent) join Estonia as countries with populations confident about the new year – 50 percent of Estonians said 2000 will be better than 1999.

The survey released on Jan. 12 titled "TNS Intersearch/GIA Year-End 1999 Study" questioned nearly 63,000 people in 61 countries. In addition to asking respondents about their prospects for the new year, pollsters inquired about whether 2000 will be more peaceful than last year, if there will be more strikes this year and if the next 12 months will be more prosperous than the last. How did the rest of the countries fare?

Nigeria is the most optimistic country in the world with 85 percent of respondents saying 2000 looks good. Check out the mostly regional round-up below for more information.

OPTIMISM POLL

2000 will be better:

United States: 62 percent

Sweden: 54 percent

Iceland: 47 percent

Greece: 47 percent

Ireland: 45 percent

Germany: 44 percent

Italy: 44 percent

2000 will be worse:

Romania: 46 percent

Poland: 42 percent

Slovak Republic: 40 percent

Hungary: 39 percent

Czech Republic: 32 percent

Bulgaria: 26 percent

2000 will be the same:

Austria: 62 percent

Finland: 60 percent

France: 56 percent

Netherlands: 56 percent

Norway: 53 percent

Denmark: 48 percent

Armenia: 46 percent

Latvia: 40 percent

Russia: 39 percent

Statistics provided by Gallup International