Latin Americans Most Positive in the World

Latin Americans are the most positive people in the world, with their region being home to eight of the top 10 countries for positive emotions worldwide. Residents inPanamaandParaguayare the most likely to report experiencing positive emotions. Singaporeans, Armenians, and Iraqis are least likely worldwide to report feeling positive emotions.

These data may surprise analysts and leaders who solely focus on traditional economic indicators. Residents of Panama, which ranks 90th in the world with respect to GDP per capita, are among the most likely to report positive emotions. Residents of Singapore, which ranks fifth in the world in terms of GDP per capita, are the least likely to report positive emotions.

Higher income does not necessarily mean higher wellbeing. Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman and Princeton economist Angus Deaton found in the United States that income only makes a significant impact on daily positive emotions when earning up to $75,000 annually — after that, additional income does not make as much of a difference. Leaders who are looking for ways to further improve the human condition in their countries — especially those societies such as Singapore that are doing well on traditional economic indicators, but not necessarily behavioral metrics — need to do more to incorporate wellbeing into their leadership strategies.


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