Reading a Gallup Poll about the happiest countries on earth, I couldn’t help being surprised by the fact that nine out of the 10 happiest countries — led by Paraguay — turned out to be in Latin America.
According to Gallup’s Positive Emotions Index, one of several such worldwide studies that aim to measure people’s levels of happiness, Paraguay was for the third year in a row the country in which people said they experienced the most positive emotions.
The poll asked people in 138 countries whether they experienced positive emotions — such as lots of enjoyment, laughter, smiling a lot, feeling well rested, and being treated with respect — on the previous day.
In Paraguay, 87 percent of respondents reported having positive experiences on the previous day, followed by Panama (86 percent), Guatemala, Nicaragua and Ecuador (all 83 percent), Costa Rica, Colombia and Denmark (82 percent), Honduras, Venezuela and El Salvador (81 percent).
Further down the list are the United States, Sweden, Argentina, Chile and several other countries with 78 percent of the people reporting positive emotions, and Mexico, China and France with 76 percent. At the bottom of the list is Syria, with 36 percent.
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