South America is the Happiest Place on Earth
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South America is the Happiest Place on Earth

3 min read

Feb 10, 2015


By Laurie Liaume

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Paraguay leads the world for the third consecutive year atop the Gallup Positive Experience Index, proving that South America is the Happiest Place on Earth!

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Move over, Disneyland, because South America may just be a happier place than even the Magical Kingdom itself! Once again, eight of the top 10 happiest nations in the world are Latin American countries. Several South American nations provide evidence that money is not necessarily the key to happiness and, perhaps somewhat astonishingly, that good health does not always create the happiest population either. Being the richest country, like Qatar, or having the longest life expectancy, such as Japan, doesn’t appear to give a country an advantage in fostering a happy population. Gallup Positive Experience Index As the above chart shows based upon the latest analysis, Paraguay comes in first when combining the five elements of well-being (Purpose, Social, Financial, Community and Physical) to obtain the rate of overall happiness. This means that Paraguay’s population feels at a higher level of thriving compared to other populations. Despite the fact that the highest financial well-being is dominated by northern and central European countries (with Sweden as the leader followed by Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands), South America is leading almost all other elements. So, even if these European countries are the best in financial well-being, only Denmark ranks highly enough in the remaining four categories to break into the overall top 10. None of the others appear before the 15th position in the rankings. What makes Paraguay such a consistent performer in this Index along with neighbors like Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela? The reason for this constancy may be the cultural tendency to reflect, to focus on the positives in life, be friendly, respectful and smile all the time. But also, some experts agree that when you have less you might loose less; you are use to living with problems so you just learn to live day-by-day and concentrate your mind on the positives. One other important reason to consider is what Luz Castillo said, “people are always surrounded by natural beauty and that’s what helps them to face their problems,” allowing South Americans a natural escape from negative experiences. All these explanations lead us to think about the real conditions of happiness and about the way of life of others. SA-happy-map_optBased on all of this happy news, can imagine that you might like to see exactly where the happiest people are located. Some of our most popular South America Tours will allow you to go and learn about these gorgeous cultures and find out what leads them to such a happy way of life. As the map above illustrates, almost every South American country ranks well in the Positive Experience Index, with Paraguay, Colombia and Venezuela leading the way, followed by Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru. About the Gallup Positive Experience Index This Gallup analysis is the result of 1,333 interviewed adults in 135 countries, aged 15 and older. Interviews were conducted by telephone or face-to-face, and the questions were organized into five elements of well-being (Purpose, Social, Financial, Community and Physical). It is a global barometer of the individuals’ perceptions of their well-being, where each element is important on its own, but they are also interdependent for the results. After analyzing these results Gallup classifies them as “thriving, struggling or suffering.” So, do you agree that South America is the Happiest Place on Earth? If you’re ready to speak with a Travel Consultant regarding a customized tour, complete the below form and a member of our Travel Team will contact you: South America is the Happiest Place on Earth

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