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The world's 13 most miserable countries

Venezuela has been named the world's most miserable country in a new study. But which other nations make up the rest of the unlucky 13?

Despite a warm climate and spectacular scenery, Venezuela is the most miserable country in the world, according to US think tank The Cato Institute.

The organisation's "misery index" looked at factors such as unemployment, inflation and a country's standard of living to come up with a definitive list of 89: Here we look at the top 13.

1. Venezuela

Sitting on the northern coast of South America, Venezuela boasts an array of natural wonders from sublime Caribbean coastline and pristine Amazon rainforest to the highest waterfall in the world - the Angel falls. All that doesn't count for much in the Misery Index though, as Venezuela is ranked number one.

Major contributing factor: Consumer prices

2. Iran

Bordered by Iraq to the west and Pakistan and Afghanistan to the east, Iran is a fascinating melting pot of exotic culture. Yet it's the second most miserable country in the world.

Major contributing factor: Consumer prices

3. Serbia

Serbia has not had great press over the past few decades thanks to violence in Kosovo and an on-going economic crisis. The fact it's ranked the third most miserable country in the world won't do much for it's public image.

Major contributing factor: Unemployment

4. Argentina

Whether it's tango dancing or football, "passion" is the word that first springs to mind when you think of Argentina. But it's still the world's fourth most miserable country.

Major contributing factor: Consumer prices 

5. Jamaica

Perhaps a surprise inclusion for a nation famed for it's laid back way of life. Jamaica is listed as the world's fifth most miserable country.

Major contributing factor: Interest rate

6. Egypt

Famous for the river Nile, pyramids and now misery? Egypt is the worlds' sixth most miserable country.

Major contributing factor: Unemployment    

7. Spain

The second highest ranking European country in the misery index, Spain is the seventh most miserable overall.

Major contributing factor: Unemployment

8. South Africa

Boasting more than a dozen national parks and a coast teeming with wildlife, South Africa is a nature lovers' dream. Unfortunately it's also the eighth most miserable country in the world.

Major contributing factor: Unemployment

9. Brazil

Should hosts Brazil win the 2014 FIFA World Cup, this would surely give misery the boot. But for now the country ranks at number nine.

Major contributing factor: Interest rate

10. Greece

Loved by holidaying Brits, Greece has had its fair share of economic problems of late, making it one of the less surprising additions to the top 13.

Major contributing factor: Unemployment

11. Macedonia

A country that has more than an air of mystery about it, perhaps because nobody knows where it is? Sitting just north of Greece, you can also find it at number 11 in the misery index.

Major contributing factor: Unemployment

12. Palestinian Territory

Compromising the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Territory is at number 12.

Major contributing factor: Unemployment

13. Turkey

Straddling both Europe and Asia, Turkey is another British holiday hotspot. Despite it's popularity as a tourist destination, it sits at number 13 in the misery index.

Major contributing factor: Interest rate

UK 62nd most miserable country

In case you're wondering where the UK ranks, it is number 62, with unemployment being its major contributing factor. Kazakhstan (68th), the United States (71st) and China (82nd) are just some of the countries that fare better than us.

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Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley

Adam Jolley is a content producer at He joined us in May 2012 from the world of financial services PR. Read more from Adam