Latinos Are the Happiest People On Planet Earth Says Best Survey Ever

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Twitter: @AndreaGompf

Bhutan may be the only country in the world with a Gross National Happiness Index, but according to a recent Gallup poll conducted in 148 countries, 7 of the world’s 10 most upbeat countries are in Latin America.

The poll asked roughly 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year if they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting, and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day. In Panama and Paraguay, 85% of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list. They were followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Interestingly, many of the seven Latin-American countries that ranked in the top 10 Happiest do poorly in traditional measures of well-being. For example, Guatemala has suffered decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven crime that gave it one of the highest homicide rates in the world. But while it sits just above Iraq on the United Nationsโ€™ Human Development Index (which measures life expectancy, education and per capita income), it ranks seventh in positive emotions.

This may not come as a shock to anyone who has traveled to Latin America or even been to a Latin party.