If you’re happy and you know it, you’re likely a Panamanian. Topping the charts for the second year running, Panama has been crowned the world’s happiest country, according to a report from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
More than 146,000 people in 145 countries were surveyed for the 2014 Country Well-Being Rankings Report, which ranked them in five well-being aspects via self-reported data from a population survey. These aspects – believed by the Index to enforce a positive sense of well-being – are a person's sense of purpose, their involvement within their community, their financial situation, their physical health and their relationships with others.
With a count of seven, the Americas have a strong hold of the top ten countries with the highest levels of well-being. The other nine countries where people are happiest are Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Belize, Chile, Denmark, Guatemala, Austria and Mexico.
Conversely, African countries dominate the list of countries with the lowest levels of well-being. In descending order of percent, the list consists of Ghana, Haiti, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo Kinshasa, Tunisia, Togo, Cameroon and Afghanistan, the latter of which was the only country to score a 0%, with residents living with none of the measured aspects of well-being.
As the most comprehensive survey of countries’ well-being, the Index shows how “stability and resilience” are important in an individual’s daily life.