Moody’s Calculates Iceland’s Misery Index Skip to content

Moody’s Calculates Iceland’s Misery Index

Moody’s Investors Service has calculated that Iceland places seventh on its Misery Index, with a 20 percent “misery” rate. The index is made by adding a country’s state deficit to its unemployment rate.

Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.

According to, Spain is at the top of the Misery Index, Latvia places second and Lithuania third, followed by Ireland, Greece and the UK. The US places eighth after Iceland.

The Misery Index has never been calculated this way before, although it was used differently in the 1960s and 70s when a country’s unemployment rate was added to the inflation rate.

US President Jimmy Carter used the Misery Index in his campaign in 1976 against Gerald Ford, arguing that no president had the right to continue in office with a Misery Index of 13.57 percent.

In the next presidential elections, Ronald Reagan pointed out that the Misery Index had climbed to 22 percent, beating Carter to the White House.

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