Self esteem around the world
Self esteem is the same everywhere, right?
Wrong! There is a great deal of variation in the levels of self esteem around the world. So which country has the highest self esteem? Which country has the lowest? How does self esteem change from country to country?
Well, take a look at the map below, compiled from research from several studies. There are some countries we don’t have data for, but it is VERY interesting.
Key: High self esteem – dark green; Low self esteem – light green
Which countries have the highest self esteem?
According to the research, here are the top five countries:
- Serbia 2. Chile 3. Israel 4. Peru 5. Estonia
The countries with the lowest level of self esteem are:
Japan, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Czech republic and Taiwan.
The USA is ranked sixth and the UK is not ranked in the top 15 countries.
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The data behind this map
David P. Schmitt and Juri Allik carried out a study into self esteem using the Rosenberg Self Esteem Scale with almost 17,000 people in 53 countries. Most of the data comes from this study. Others sources are the study by Bleidorn, Arslan, Denissen, Rentfrow, Gebauer, Potter & Gosling (2015) and Chatard, Selimbegovic and Konan (2009).
- No connection was found between those living in cultures which value the individual more and higher self esteem. Individualist countries include Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
- Collectivist countries do not have lower self esteem than individualist countries. Collectivist countries include Bangladesh, Botswana, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia,Peru, Serbia, and South Korea.
- In countries that see that men and women as equals overall self esteem is higher.
- Self esteem levels are not connected to life expectancy, literacy or standard of living.
- Individualist countries had lower levels of self liking and higher levels of self competence.
- Collectivist countries had higher levels of self liking and lower levels of self competence.
- Higher self esteem = lower levels of anxiety
According to the information in these studies the notion of self esteem is pretty uniform across the globe and we can get a reasonably good picture of how this varies across cultures.
Schmitt and Allik. (2005). Simultaneous Administration of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale in 53 Nations: Exploring the Universal and Culture-Specific Features of Global Self-Esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Vol. 89, No. 4, pp.623–642 Read the full article