Inside Afghanistan: What Life Is Like, in Afghans’ Own Words

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The FINANCIAL — Afghans celebrate 100 years of independence on Monday, but you likely won’t see this milestone in many of the news headlines. Instead, the big story will more than likely be a political one. Who is going to win the coming presidential election? Are peace talks between the U.S. and the Taliban progressing?

Or the story will be about the economy. GDP per capita (PPP) in 2018 was about $2,000 (in international dollars) and the economy grew at an average of 1%.

All of these topics are incredibly important factors to the current climate in Afghanistan — in the leadup to Election Day in late September and beyond. But one thing is always missing: How are people’s lives going in Afghanistan?

Since 2005, Gallup has been collecting data on this topic every year. To answer this question, Gallup asks Afghans about their happiness, wellbeing, personal safety, employment opportunities, and satisfaction with their communities and institutions.

Starting today, and through the presidential election in late September, Gallup will publish at least an article a week that reports on what Afghans are thinking on all these topics.

August 19: Law and Order
August 26: Food and Shelter
September 4: Institutions and Infrastructure
September 9: Good Jobs
September 16: Wellbeing
September 23: Brain Gain

If global leaders want to further their understanding of what’s going on Afghanistan, Gallup has consulted the best experts in the world on the country: the people who live there. 



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