How do you define well-being? Is it having good health and energy levels? Is it freedom from financial stress? Gallup put these and other questions to 146,000 people from 145 countries to obtain data for their Global Well-Being index. The index is broken into five categories: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. Responses were then classified as either “thriving” (well-being that is strong and consistent), “struggling” (well-being that is moderate or inconsistent), or “suffering” (well-being that is low and inconsistent).

The Americas scored highest for overall well-being, also showing the most satisfaction in the categories of purpose, social and community.


Of the top 10 nations, Panama had the highest score, with 53% of its population saying that they were thriving in at least three of the five categories. Costa Rica and Puerto Rico, in second and third place, were the only other two economies to rise above the 40% overall mark. Latin America represented seven out of 10 of the highest-ranking nations. Europe was represented by Switzerland, Denmark and Austria.


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Author: Donald Armbrecht is a freelance writer and social media manager. 

Image: A girl laughs while playing at a fountain. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil