Lonely Planet Writer

Survey finds happiest people live in South and Latin America

A global survey to find the happiest people revealed, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, that the ten countries to come out on top all came from Latin and South America.

The happiest people in the world live in Paraguay.
The happiest people in the world live in Paraguay. Image by Rennett Stowe / CC BY 2.0

Of the 143 countries which responded to a series of questions either on the phone or in face to face interviews, the USA came in a creditable 15th, Ireland was at number 36, with Britain a little further down the table in 43rd position.

The Irish Examiner reports that Paraguay, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela were among the happiest countries in the world, with seven out of ten of their citizens claiming they share enjoyment, smiles and laughter, while also having sufficient time in their day to feel well-rested. The Gallup poll also reported that these people felt treated with respect.

Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua were the other countries which made up the top ten following the Gallup survey which asked people five yes or no questions concerning how they had experienced life the day before the questionnaire.

The poll found that North Africa, parts of Eastern Europe and some areas of the Middle East was where the least happy people were located. These included South Sudan, Tunisia, Bangladesh, Serbia and Turkey.