USA is 12th, Panama 1st, in global well-being poll

Contact An Agent

By Tom on September 16, 2014

Maybe there’s something in Panama’s canal water.

In a new poll, the Central American country ranks first among 135 countries on subjective well-being- not just how much or health people have but how they feel about their lives.

Syria and Afghanistan rank last, and the USA ranks 12th in the poll conducted in 2013 and released Tuesday by Gallup and Healthways, a Franklin, Tenn., company that markets wellness programs.

The results are based on a new global version of the Gallup-Healthways Well -Being Index. The index looks at how people feel about five facets of their lives: sense of purpose, social connections, community, finances and physical vigor.

Overall, countries in the Americans and Northern Europe rank highest, and those in sub-Saharan Africa rank lowest.

Panamanians truly stand out for positiviy: 61% are “thriving” on at least three measures of well-being, Gallup researcher Dan Witters says. The next closest county is Costa Rica at 44%. Six of the top 10 countries are in Latin America.

“That’s not a big surprise, based on what we know and have measured in the past,” Witters says. A previous Gallup poll found Latin Americans in general and Panamanians in particular have the most upbeat attitudes, based on things such as smiling and laughing a lot and enjoying life.

Another recent poll found people in Panama had something to smile about, he says: They were the most likely in the world to say it was a good time to find a job, reflecting a growing economy – driven in part by Panama Canal expansion under construction.

See the full article here: