World’s happiest people are Latin Americans. Syrians unhappiest

Syrian flag left and Paraguay flag. While Paraguay is the happiest country according to Gallup poll, Syria is the unhappiest
Syrian flag left and Paraguay flag. While Paraguay is the happiest country according to Gallup poll, Syria is the unhappiest


Paraguay is the happiest country in the world, with 87 percent of residents scoring high on an index of positive emotions, according to the latest Gallup poll on well-being.

Not surprisingly, Syria, suffering through a civil war, is the unhappiest and people there are so badly off they’ve hit a new low, the survey finds.

 Overall, 70 percent of adults worldwide say they are frequently laughing, smiling or enjoying themselves. The United States comes in the top one-quarter, with a happiness score of 78, the same as Chile, Argentina and Sweden.

Jon Clifton, managing director of the Gallup World Poll, says he is not surprised at the findings. “We know in Latin America culturally, there are a lot of highly positive emotions,” he said. “It is a pretty emotional culture.”

Image: Gallup finds that a majority of adults worldwide are experiencing positive emotionsGALLUP
Gallup finds that a majority of adults worldwide are experiencing positive emotions.

Gallup surveyed 1,000 adults in each of 138 countries to make up the index. They asked five questions: whether people felt rested, felt they were treated with respect, laughed or smiled a lot, whether they experienced enjoyment and whether they had learned or done something interesting the day before.

Gallup then makes up a Positive Experience Index score for each country. Most of the happiest countries are in Latin America, the survey finds. The five top countries all are:

  • Paraguay 87
  • Panama 86
  • Guatemala 83
  • Nicaragua 83
  • Ecuador 83

At the bottom:

  • Syria 36
  • Chad 52
  • Lithuania 53
  • Bosnia 54
  • Serbia 54

Gallup worked with Healthways,a company that promotes and studies well-being, to develop the index. While the five simple questions point to basic well-being, it’s important to take a deeper dive also, says Clifton.

“What we wanted to find out was what was driving those five things,” Clifton said. A big factor is workplace, or school for students, he said. “Another is financial well-being.” Sense of community is also important.

And it’s important to see whether negative experiences outweigh positive ones. It doesn’t happen in Latin America, where people reported both the highest positive emotions and the highest negative emotions — and yet still ended up on top in terms of well-being.

“You take two middle-aged women, one that has a child and one that does not have a child,” said Clifton. “Which one evaluates her life the higher? It is the one that has the child. Who has the most stress and also the most sadness? It is also the one with the child.”

Ongoing research show the United States consistently scores poorly in workplace happiness, Clifton says — especially on Wednesday. U.S. happiness peaks on weekends. “We need to do a better job of understanding workplace happiness,” Clifton said. “People will take paycuts in order to do jobs they love.”

Gallup takes the measure to heart. Clifton says Healthways came in and assessed Gallup’s employees, and the scores indicated they could feel better on community measurements. So they made changes. “We do a range of things where the office will get together and say ‘let’s choose an emphasis on community well-being’ and we choose five non-profits and get involved in them,” Clifton said.

Did it make people happier? “It certainly improved their well-being,” he said.






17 responses to “World’s happiest people are Latin Americans. Syrians unhappiest”

  1. Farq2 Avatar

    The US comes in at the top one quarter. Hmm, I wonder if that survey was conducted in areas where people in the US are living below the poverty line which makes up more than 40% of the population. As for the poor Syrians, how do you expect them to be happy when most of the western word has paid for the destruction of their once beautiful country. It would have interesting to see where Syria wound have been placed prior to this fake revolution. And why isn’t Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Turkey on the list. God knows most them are miserable.

    1. AkhouManUki Avatar

      Ya Sayyed Farqrallah, looks like you’re trying to mislead everyone yet again. No two countries have contributed more to the destruction of Syria than Iran and Russia – you are a mumbling baboon if you are really trying to argue otherwise.

      1. Farq2 Avatar

        Is that what you really think. Lol. Brother you are one shallow person. I asked you previously to provide me with evidence that shows M14 supports protesting with numbers higher than the Hezb’s protesters. And guess what, no response from you. Now I will ask you again, How the hell did you come with the conclusion that Russia and Iran have contributed more to the destruction of Syria than any other country. People like you like to pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe. A bit like a puppet with the puppeteer shoving his hand up you behind.

        1. master09 Avatar

          And you don’t do the same. You also believe that all you say is the truth and facts. But in reality we ALL do not now the truth.

        2. AkhouManUki Avatar

          Because Assad’s arms all come from Russia and Iran – I thought you already knew that. Last I checked, Assad has the only army in Syria equipped with fighter jets (from Russia) and drones (from Iran). You seem to come here every day, I’m sure you’ve read the same articles that I have, and I have better things to do than present evidence to prove something to someone who is locked inside a set of beliefs that will turn any evidence into a lie.

    2. MekensehParty Avatar

      Where oh where does this guy get his information from?
      How could it be the richest country in the world and have 40% of its people under poverty line?
      Think! Stop swallowing everything Dr. maher sends you!

    3. MekensehParty Avatar

      They are on the list ya illiterate
      Surprise: Bahraini are very happy

      1. Farq2 Avatar

        Oh, I’m sorry, they made the list which means it must be true.
        So all those people protesting around the country telling the royal family how unhappy they are, are happy you say. And you call me Illiterate.

        1. MekensehParty Avatar

          So now you want to go back to the street?
          The street applies to Bahrain but not to Syria or Iran?
          Where are the Bahraini protesters today? Are they in a civil war against their emir? Is he barrel bombing their cities? Gasing their neighborhoods? They don’t seem to be as unhappy as the Syrians.
          But hey, for you the Syrian civil war is a foreign conspiracy right? At least that’s what dr maher stuffed the emptiness between your ears with.

  2. AkhouManUki Avatar

    Turns out Lebanon isn’t that far behind Syria – I thought Lebanese loved life, and it was all about working to live, and live in abundance. WTF – to use a Farq’ed up conspiracy theory, they must have conducted this survey in Da7yie and other areas occupied by Iran/Hezbollah.

  3. IraniAngel Avatar

    i really thought iran was the unhappiest country. iranians always n constantly complain about everything

    1. AkhouManUki Avatar

      Reading this list again makes me wonder whether they polled Palestinians in Israel.

      1. MekensehParty Avatar

        61 is in the 25% least happy
        Btw the West Bank is not that bad at all

      2. IraniAngel Avatar

        or those balestinians in leb, i remember having watched a clib on tv wid this balestinian woman in a refugee camb in leb who said: ‘la2 tfakr enno ne7no n3ish, ne7no bass nfas’ :'(
        but then again who cares about balestinians in leb or in the occubied balestine

  4. Fauzia45 Avatar

    To be happy is when you ,^respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you,grows you, or makes you happy^,,,

  5. master09 Avatar

    So what do they mean by happy, is it the BMW or the house or the job that makes them happier.
    Jesus spoke to us about what you give and do for others should make u a better and happier person in return others doing the same, but do not build ur wealth on this earth because when u sit on my rite in Gods house u than will know life and what it is to be happy.

  6. elpaisdelasmaravillas Avatar

    Money can’t buy happiness… Greetings from the heart of South America, Paraguay 🙂

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