The 10 Best (And Worst) Countries For Total Well-Being

Today, Gallup and Healthways released their annual well-being survey, combining more than 146,000 surveys in 145 countries and areas, to see how they compare in terms of life satisfaction.

But what exactly does "well-being" mean? It's hard to say, but for the purposes of this report, researchers divided it into five categories:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals.
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life.
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security.
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community.
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily.

And for the second year in a row, Panama ranked the highest in overall well-being, with 53% of its people saying "they are thriving in three or more of the five elements" of overall well-being. The U.S. lagged far behind, in 23rd place, with 30.5% saying the same.

Here's the top 10 (and, as you can see, Latin America swept the competition):

  1. Panama
  2. Costa Rica
  3. Puerto Rico
  4. Switzerland
  5. Belize
  6. Chile
  7. Denmark
  8. Guatemala
  9. Austria
  10. Mexico

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the 10 countries ranked lowest in well-being are war-torn and impoverished nations:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Bhutan
  3. Cameroon
  4. Togo
  5. Tunisia
  6. Congo Kinshasa
  7. Ivory Coast
  8. Benin
  9. Haiti
  10. Ghana

You can view the complete report here.

What do you think of the rankings?

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