Change Edition

Which country is the happiest on earth?
Culture & Life

Which country is the happiest on earth?

2 min. 19.03.2015 From our online archive
Want to surround yourself with happy people, laugh more and experience more positivity in your life? Head to Latin America, which dominated a new list ranking the most upbeat countries in the world...

(AFP) Want to surround yourself with happy people, laugh more and experience more positivity in your life? Head to Latin America, which dominated a new list ranking the most upbeat countries in the world ahead of the UN’s International Day of Happiness on Friday.

After asking people in 143 countries if they had experienced positive feelings of respect, laughter and enlightenment the day before, analysts at Gallup compiled a Positive Experience Index that put Paraguay at the top of the heap, followed by Colombia, Ecuador and Guatemala, which all tied for second place.

Launched in 2012, the UN-led International Day of Happiness is meant to reinforce the importance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and make them part of public policy objectives.

For their survey, Gallup asked participants to reflect on their overall state the day before.

Did they feel well-rested? Were they treated with respect? Did they smile or laugh a lot yesterday? Did they learn something interesting?

Globally, 70 percent of respondents said they had experienced positive emotions the day before.

Like many surveys before it, the results support the theory that a higher GDP doesn’t equate with higher levels of life satisfaction.

In other words, that money can’t buy happiness.

While Guatemala, for instance, ranks 118th in terms of nominal GDP per capita and is one of the poorest countries in the world, it ties for second place on Gallup’s positivity index.

“There is much to be learned from Latin America on this International Day of Happiness because while they aren't the wealthiest people in the world, they are certainly among the happiest,” reads the report.

Another country to stand out in the survey is Afghanistan, where the majority of respondents said they smiled or laughed the day before the interview, despite living in conflict and war-torn conditions.

At the other end of the spectrum, the Middle East and North Africa are the unhappiest on the list, with Sudan, Tunisia and Bangladesh scoring the lowest points.

Here are the happiest countries in the world and their positive experience index scores, according to Gallup:

Paraguay 89, Colombia 84, Ecuador 84, Guatemala 84, Honduras 82, Panama 82, Venezuela 82, Costa Rica 81, El Salvador 81, Nicaragua 81.

Do not miss the news - sign up to receive thewort.lu newsletter in English  delivered to your inbox six days a week.