People in Syria and Iraq are least likely to report positive experiences and emotions, while seven of the 10 happiest countries during 2012 are in Latin America, a Gallup Poll released Monday found. Israel placed in the middle of the pack, slightly ahead of the Palestinian Authority.
The happiest people in the world were found to be in Latin America, according to the annual survey.
In the poll, of 143 countries, people were asked about various positive experiences they may have undergone. “Did you feel well rested yesterday?” and “Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday?” were among the questions presented to participants.
In Paraguay over 86 percent of the respondents said “yes” to all the positive emotions and experiences, placing it at the top of the list. Venezuela was a close second with 86%. Panama (84%), Costa Rica (84%) and Colombia (83%) rounded up a Latin American top five.
Switzerland was the highest-ranking European country, making it into 10th place with 80% of respondents giving a positive answer to all the questions asked.
Some 65% of Israelis said “yes” to all the questions, placing the country somewhere in the middle — right between Kosovo and Estonia. Sixty-four percent of the residents of the Palestinian Authority surveyed gave positive answers to all the questions, placing the PA slightly below Greece and above Kyrgyzstan.
Singapore made the largest climb in the rankings, with 24% more people answering “yes” to all the questions in 2012, bringing it to 70%.
Syria came in at the bottom of the list, with only 46% saying they had recently experienced all the positive experiences presented to them. The war-ridden country also marked the deepest dive in positive responses compared to the 2011 survey, with 14% less of the population answering “yes” this time round.
Iraq (47%), Serbia (52%), Montenegro (52%) and Yemen (53%) also placed in the bottom five.