Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/21/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Relatively poor Central American countries report highest levels of satisfaction

A recent poll has found that maybe money really doesn't buy happiness. People in moderate to poor Latin American countries report the highest levels of personal satisfaction, whereas the wealthy nation of Singapore is ranked the lowest.

Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven crimes has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Guatemala ranks seventh in positive emotions.

Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven crimes has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Guatemala ranks seventh in positive emotions.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/21/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Latin America, happiness, ranking, Gallup poll, misery


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Affluent European nations such as Germany and France were found to be as glum as the chaotic country of Somalia. Qatar, the richest country in the world, and Japan, where people have the longest life expectancy were not on the top 10 list of happiest countries. 

The poll of nearly 150,000 people around the world found that seven of the world's 10 countries with the most upbeat attitudes are in Latin America.

Questions posed by the Gallup Poll asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries 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 the previous day.

In Panama and Paraguay, 85 percent of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list. These two countries were then closely followed by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica.

Guatemala, a country torn by decades of civil war followed by waves of gang-driven crimes has 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," Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor says. "Despite all the problems that we're facing, we're surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all."

Not surprisingly, the poll shows that prosperous nations can also be deeply unhappy ones. Poverty-stricken countries are often awash in positivity, or at least a close approximation of it.

"Happiness economics," a relatively new and controversial field seeks to improve government performance by adding people's perceptions of their satisfaction to traditional metrics such as life expectancy, per capita income and graduation rates.

As an example, the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan famously measures policies by their impact on a concept called Gross National Happiness.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which unites 34 of the world's most advanced countries, recently created a Better Life Index allowing the public to compare countries based on quality of life in addition to material well-being.

However - there are some experts who claim that such an approach could allow governments to use positive public perceptions as an excuse to ignore problems. The Gallup poll, some say may have been skewed by a Latin American cultural proclivity to avoid negative statements regardless of how one actually feels.

At the bottom of the list are such countries as Armenia, Georgia and Lithuania, where misery is something a little more ephemeral.

"Feeling unhappy is part of the national mentality here," Agaron Adibekian, a sociologist in the Armenian capital, Yerevan says. "Armenians like being mournful; there have been so many upheavals in the nation's history. The Americans keep their smiles on and avoid sharing their problems with others. And the Armenians feel ashamed about being successful."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Americas

U.S. and Cuba reopen embassies in groundbreaking move to normalize relations Watch

Image of Official relations between the two countries were severed back in 1961, a diplomatic gulf widened by an embargo on travel and trade.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

The U.S. and Cuba formally re-established diplomatic ties for the first time since 1961 on Monday; a groundbreaking development advocated by Catholic bishops from both countries and set in motion by Pope Francis. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's an ... continue reading


CORRUPTION RAMPANT: Few surprised with prison escape of Mexico's 'El Chapo' Watch

Image of Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Most were dismayed - but many were not surprised with the escape of Mexican drug cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman from maximum-security prison last week. Mexico is notorious for having one of the most corrupt governments in the world.  LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


How did he do it? Surveillance video released with inside look at El Chapo's elaborate escape plan Watch

Image of Joaquin

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the second time in 14 years, the most powerful drug trafficker in Mexico and FBI's Public Enemy No. 1 has escaped prison using a tunnel. After Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was confirmed to have escaped from the country's most secured prison, the largest manhunt in ... continue reading


Did Pope Francis chew coca leaves during his visit in Bolivia? Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' recent visit in South America, there were claims he requested to chew some coca leaves to help him cope with the high altitude. Bolivian authorities stated earlier that the Pope made the request during his stay in La Paz, but the Pontiff clarified ... continue reading


Thousands of Argentineans cross into Paraguay to see their country's Pope Francis Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of prideful Argentineans crossed in to Paraguay to see their Pope Francis speak at the border town of Caacupe. The Pontiff praised the women of Paraguay in his sermon. He recalled how many were left widowed and orphaned after the War of the Triple ... continue reading


Pope Francis stays calm after receiving shocking, outrageous gift from Bolivia president Watch

Image of Pope Francis appeared stunned by the strange gift.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

During Pope Francis' short trip in Bolivia, President Evo Morales gave him a crucifix of Jesus, nailed in the symbol of communism: hammer and sickle. The Pontiff maintained a neutral and diplomatic approach as he was handed the gift, which is a significant item in the ... continue reading


ON THE LOOSE: Mexico's most feared drug lord - They Can't Keep Me - 'El Chapo' escapes maximum-security prison Watch

Image of The leader of one of the world's most powerful and deadly drug trafficking operations, El Chapo was able to escape from custody previously in 2001 from a high-security prison by hiding in a laundry cart.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a humiliating blow to the Mexican government, the nation's most feared and powerful drug lord -- Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman skipped out of maximum security prison. Guzman is believed to have crawled through a hole in the shower area of his cellblock at the ... continue reading


Paraguayan women need to preserve nation's heritage, and build its future, Pope says Watch

Image of These are

By CNA/EWTN News

Saying Mass at the Marian shrine of Caacupe on Saturday, Pope Francis reflected that it is the task of the "women, wives and mothers" of Paraguay to keep alive their nation's faith and heritage. Caacupe, Paraguay (CNA/EWTN News) - The Roman Pontiff said July 11 ... continue reading


Pope's trip to Ecuador has very special meaning for missionary Watch

Image of On July 6, his first day in Ecuador, Pope Francis has already visited the Divine Mercy Shrine in Guayaquil.

By CNA/EWTN News

Everyone at the Vatican is praying for the fruits of the Pope's apostolic visit to Latin America, but there is one person with a special insight into the papal trip. Quito, Ecuador (CNA/EWTN News) -- Sister Andrea Romero Saltos is an Idente Missionary and the ... continue reading


Speaking to a nearly million Ecuadorans, the Pope urges Latin America to find unity through faith Watch

Image of Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa had private talks with the pope at the presidential palace after Francis returned from the coastal city of Guayaquil, where he said Mass for 800,000 people.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking at Quito's Bicentenario Park, against the starkly beautiful backdrop of the Andean mountains, Pope Francis addressed nearly a million people on his third day in Ecuador. Countless faithful weathered the wind and rain in order to camp out overnight. In ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2015 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter