Approval Rating has been a long neglected data point, most people have 0 (-a large number).
The issue is it's too easy to lose approval and too hard to gain approval, even if you are interested in the RP aspect of your nation it is likely impossible if you've been involved in a global to have positive approval rating.
I suggest the current factors that increase approval rating needs to be more rewarding and negative factors need to do less damage (unless war related.
E.G. Building a city or project becomes +15
Winning a war becomes +15.
Successful espionage operations against you whether you exposed the nation or not means -1 approval.
Somebody else fails an espionage operation, +3.
Failed espionage operation, -1.
Successful if spies not captured, +4
If spies captured, +3
Having war declared and declaring war becomes neutral.
Turn based factors should become more rewarding and new misc factors should be added, e.g.
Landing on the moon, +50 (more incentive to actually do the project).
I believe this would help increase immersion and not leave a consistently poor result on nation pages.
If this update were implemented approval ratings in the negative should be reset to 50%.