The United States ranks 25th among the world's happiest countries. That's behind Rwanda!
If you’re happy and you know it, you are most likely from Latin America. On Friday, the third annual International Day of Happiness, Gallup’s Positive Experience Index finds that all of the top 10 countries with the highest scores (between 81 and 89) are in Latin America:
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
The United States ranks 25th. Behind Rwanada!
Gallup's Positive Experience Index is designed to measure the less tangible things that the GDP was not intended to measure. Gallup asked adults in 143 countries in 2014 if they had five positive experiences on the day before the survey. More than 70 percent said they experienced a lot of enjoyment, smiled or laughed a lot, felt well rested and felt treated with respect.
Additionally, half said they learned or did something interesting the day before the interview. Gallup compiles the "yes" responses from these five questions into a Positive Experience Index score for each country. The happiness index score for the world in 2014 is 71 and has remained remarkably consistent through the years.
How does money factor into happiness? Ask a Guatemalan. Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the world, but when it comes to positive emotions, it is tied for second, Gallup found.
A Spectrem Group survey of Affluent investors found that an overwhelming majority (84 percent) said that money meant greater security, while one-third did say it meant they would be happier. Nearly three-in-ten said it means more fun. As to whether “money can buy happiness,” 35 percent were neutral, while 44 percent said they either “disagreed” or “strongly disagreed.” And yet the wealthier respondents reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction in every aspect of their life, including marriage, health and family.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.