Latin Americans rank as happiest people on planet
- Karmakar country: Many Dipas of Tripura taking their own leap of faith
- For India in NSG, China to send main negotiator
- No Railway Budget from next financial year, Arun Jaitley accepts Suresh Prabhu's proposal
- J&K: 15 injured in Poonch blast, pilgrims said to be target
- Tavleen Singh writes: Kashmir’s violent ‘children’
The world's happiest people aren't in Qatar, the richest country by most measures. They aren't in Japan, the nation with the highest life expectancy.
Canada, with its chart-topping percentage of college graduates, doesn't make the top 10.
A poll released yesterday of nearly 150,000 people around the world says seven of the world's 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America.
Many of the seven do poorly in traditional measures of well-being, like Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven criminality that give it one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Guatemala sits just above Iraq on the United Nations' Human Development Index, a composite of life expectancy, education and per capita income. But it ranks seventh in positive emotions.
"In Guatemala, it's a culture of friendly people who are always smiling," said Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor. "Despite all the problems that we're facing, we're surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all."
Gallup Inc asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year if they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment.
In Panama and Paraguay, 85 percent of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list. They were followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica.
The people least likely to report positive emotions lived in Singapore, the wealthy and orderly city-state that ranks among the most developed in the world. Other wealthy countries also sat surprisingly low on the list. Germany and France tied with the poor African state of Somaliland for 47th place.
Prosperous nations can be deeply unhappy ones. And poverty-stricken ones are often awash in positivity, or at least a close approximation of it.
- To his successor, and to the PM and the government, Dr Rajan has left valuable messages
- Instead of laptops and books in their hands these children had stones and grenades
- Gau raksha is seen not just as a desire but a duty by PM Modi's core support
- PM Modi has put the onus for whatever happens in Gujarat on Amit Shah
- Prachanda must address Madhesi aspirations and bring relations with India on even keel
- Inflation has dropped by a large magnitude, during Raghuram Rajan’s tenure as RBI gov