Paraguay Happiest Nation in World, Says Gallup Poll on Well-Being

Image: Paraguay Happiest Nation in World, Says Gallup Poll on Well-Being

Thursday, 22 May 2014 09:53 AM

By Michael Mullins

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'Paraguay Happiest Nation in the World' – that's the headline from Gallup's latest poll on well-being.

Sandwiched between Brazil to its north and Argentina to its south, the 6.5 million person South American nation scored highest on the polling company positive emotions index with 87 percent of respondents claiming to have experienced a positive emotion the day before, such as laughing or feeling well-rested or being treated with respect, The Wall Street Journal reported.

This is the third year in a row that Paraguay has topped the list. It was followed by Guatemala, Nicaragua and Ecuador.

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"We know in Latin America culturally, there are a lot of highly positive emotions," Jon Clifton, managing director of the Gallup World Poll, said in response to the survey. "It is a pretty emotional culture."

The only non-Latin American country to make Gallup's top 10 of happy nations was Denmark, which traditionally has a happy populace, came in at 8th place.

In contrast, the Gallup survey found that Syria, with its ongoing civil war that continues to tear apart the country, was the least happy nation in the world for the second year in a row, NBC News noted. Just 36 percent of respondents in the unhappy Middle Eastern nation experienced happiness within the past 24 hours, according to Gallup.

The United States was tied with Chile, Argentina and Sweden for 19th place on the survey.

According to Gallup, 70 percent of adults overall around the world say they are frequently laughing, smiling or enjoying themselves, The Wall Street Journal noted.

While money doesn't necessarily buy happiness it sure does help according to the poll, which found that individuals who earn more money tend to report higher positive emotions, with a 10-percentage-point gap globally between the highest and lowest income brackets.

With a sampling error of plus or minus 1 percent, the Gallup poll was based on a series of telephone and face-to-face interviews taken in 2013 involving approximately 1,000 individuals, ages 15 and up, in each of the 138 countries surveyed.

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