Poll: Latin America has the happiest countries

Sure, if you like being happy, I guess it’s all fine and good. (Just trying my best to fit in with the low ranking of happiness in France, where happiness or positive thoughts may even be against the law.)  Gallup has a new poll of happiest countries and the least happy.  Latin America really stole the show, apparently.

From Gallup, here’s the list of top and bottom:

happiest countries

Source: Gallup

More from AP:

“In Guatemala, it’s a culture of friendly people who are always smiling,” said Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor. “Despite all the problems that we’re facing, we’re surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all.”

Gallup Inc. asked about 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 percent 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.

Having spent a bit of time in Guatemala ten years ago, I agree, it’s a beautiful country and lovely people. Antigua Guatemala and Tikal are two favorite spots in my travels but there’s plenty more to see there. Somehow I need to find a way to get to a few more of the countries on the list, like the Philippines. Air miles, take me away.

You can see the entire list here.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • Ingmar53

    Funny… I saw a similar story a few months ago that claimed Denmark to be the “happiest” country. Given Gallup’s poor showing during the election, I’m not sure I’d put much faith in this.

  • Phil

    Not a single “industrialized country” in the whole bunch.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    If you go to the Philippines concentrate on Baguio and the Thousand Islands.

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