Measuring emotions is a tricky thing. When we looked at the happiest nations in the world, the list was dominated by wealthy European nations. People in those countries enjoy high income, better living standards, access to the best medical facilities, and world-class educational institutions. But when it comes to how positive they feel, none of them are among the top ten. Here we take a look at the top 10 most positive countries in the world.
Why are Latin Americans most positive?
The Gallup 2019 Global Emotions Poll surveyed 151,000 adults in 143 countries to find out the emotional state of people around the world. They asked questions like whether the survey participants felt well-rested, treated with respect, smiled or laughed, learned something interesting or did something interesting the previous day.
The participants had to answer Yes or No. They could also refuse to answer a question. The survey was conducted in 2018. Results show that most people feel positive about their lives. As per the Gallup survey, 74% people around the world smiled or laughed, 71% experienced enjoyment, 87% participants said they were treated with respect, and 72% felt well-rested. Overall, the Positive Experience Index score for 2018 was 71, up from 69 in 2017.
Jon Clifton, the global managing partner of Gallup, said the European nations are happiest in the world because of life satisfaction. But it’s also important to measure emotions. Most Latin American nations don’t enjoy the best living standards, but they smile, laugh, and “experience enjoyment like no one else in the world.”
The list of the most positive countries is dominated by Latin American nations, occupying nine out of the top 10 places. According to Gallup, it may have something to do with their cultural tendency to look at the bright side of life.
A staggering 96% participants from Colombia said they felt respected. About 85% people smiled the previous day, 67% said they learned something, and 78% people felt well-rested. Close to 79% participants told Gallup they experienced enjoyment. Colombia has a population of 50 million and a per-capita GDP of $15,715.
9- Costa Rica
Costa Ricans are also a happy lot. An impressive 87% participants said they experienced enjoyment, 73% felt well-rested, 65% claimed to have learned something new, 86% smiled, and 96% participants said they were treated with respect. Its overall Positive Experience Index was 81, same as Colombia.
With a Positive Experience Index score of 82, Ecuador is one of the most positive countries in the world. A record 97% participants from the country felt respected, 88% smiled the previous day, 69% learned something new, 74% felt well-rested, and 85% experienced enjoyment.
Honduras has a Positive Experience Index of 83. According to the Gallup survey, 86% people in the Central American nation experienced enjoyment. About 74% participants felt well-rested, 71% learned something new the previous day, 88% smiled a lot, and 96% felt respected.
Indonesia is the only country from outside Latin America to feature among the top 10 most positive countries. It has an overall Positive Experience Index of 83. As per the survey, 93% Indonesian participants felt respected, 90% smiled a lot, 65% learned something new, 85% were well-rested, and 82% experienced enjoyment.
5- El Salvador
El Salvador is one of the world’s most positive countries, with 84% participants experiencing enjoyment, 73% well-rested, 75% learned something new, 90% smiled a lot, and 96% felt respected. The small Central American nation is known for its mountainous landscapes, surf spots, and beautiful beaches.
With a Positive Experience Index of 84, Mexicans are far more positive about life than their American counterparts. The Gallup survey found that 96% Mexicans felt respected, 88% smiled a lot, 68% learned something new, 79% felt well-rested, and 88% participants experienced enjoyment.
Guatemala is a Central American nation surrounded by Mexico, El Salvador, and Honduras. It has a Positive Experience Index of 84. About 85% survey participants experienced enjoyment, 80% felt well-rested, 73% learned something new, 88% smiled a lot, and 96% felt respected.
The Republic of Panama has a Positive Experience Index of 85, same as the top ranked Paraguay. About 96% survey participants told Gallup they felt respected, 89% smiled a lot, 75% learned something new, 77% felt well-rested, and 87% experienced enjoyment.
Paraguay is the most positive country in the world. Paraguayans feel more positive emotions than anyone else. The country has been consistently topping the list since 2015. A record 91% Paraguayans said they experienced enjoyment, 83% felt well-rested, 64% learned something new, 89% smiled a lot, and 97% participants felt respected.
On the other hand, Afghanistan had the lowest Positive Experience Index score of 43. It reflects the devastating impact of violence and poverty on the daily experiences of people in Afghanistan.