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Where do the world's happiest people live?

Posting in Technology

According to a new survey from Gallup, money really doesn't buy happiness.

In the survey Gallup interviewed nearly 150,000 adults in 148 countries to find out which countries feel the most positive and negative emotions. The results? The most positive countries were mostly found in Latin America.

Interestingly, every country in the top 10 most positive countries ranked outside of the top 25 for GDP in 2011, and none of those countries were in the top 50 for GDP per capita. Here are the countries around the world with the most positive feelings:

  1. Panama
  2. Paraguay
  3. El Salvador
  4. Venezuela
  5. Trinidad and Tobago
  6. Thailand
  7. Guatemala
  8. Philippines
  9. Ecuador
  10. Costa Rica

Among the least positive include Singapore, Armenia, Iraq, Georgia, and Yemen. The survey determined if people were feeling positive emotions based on how often they answered five questions about whether they experienced enjoyment most of the previous day, felt rested, respected and whether they laughed a lot and learned something interesting. (Read the full methodology here.) Worldwide, at least 72 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative to all questions except whether they learned something interesting.

"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," Gallup said.

Latin Americans Most Positive in the World [Gallup]

Photo: Flickr/flattop341

— By on December 20, 2012, 4:34 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure