Results of a recent Gallup Poll support the fact that Latinos are among the happiest people on Earth. The survey sampled 150,000 people around the world and determined that 7 of the world's 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are located in Latin America!
The survey arrived at the results based on the answers to questions of whether they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting recently, and felt feelings of enjoyment the previous day. Coming in at the top was Panama and Paraguay, where 85% of those polled said yes to all five, followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines,Ecuador and Costa Rica. Even some unsuspecting candidates such as Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war and one of the highest homicide rates in the world, ranks seventh in positive emotions.
Ironically, the wealthiest and most developed countries were the least likely to report positive emotions, such as Singapore, France, and Germany. The nine least positive countries included Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Haiti for seemingly obvious reasons. The United States was No. 33 in positive outlook.
Scientists believe that the satisfaction of Latin Americans may lie in cultural values; Latinos typically place less importance on material issues than on family and friends. This would also explain why more developed countries ranked low on the index. In many other cultures the work-life balance is skewed, but Latinos are proving that the key to happiness lies in people who like to celebrate, to eat well and live well. ¡Pura Vida!