New country rankings from the Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index show that, for the second time since last year’s inaugural report, Panama has the highest overall well-being in the world. The new report, “2014 Country Well-Being Rankings Report”, ranks 145 countries and areas based on the percentages of their residents that are thriving in three or more well-being elements.
The Americas have a strong presence in the ten countries with the world’s highest overall well-being, with seven countries on the list. After Panama, rounding out the top ten are Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Belize, Chile, Denmark, Guatemala, Austria and Mexico.
The five countries with the lowest levels of well-being are Tunisia, Togo, Cameroon, Bhutan and Afghanistan. In fact, in Afghanistan, no residents are thriving in three or more well-being elements, and none is thriving in purpose, social or financial well-being.
Globally, higher well-being has been associated with outcomes indicative of stability and resilience — for example, healthcare utilization, intent to migrate, trust in elections and local institutions, daily stress, food/shelter security, volunteerism, and willingness to help others.
The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index uses a holistic definition of well-being and self-reported data from individuals across the globe to create a unique view of societies’ progress on the elements that matter most to well-being: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. It is the most proven, mature and comprehensive measure of well-being in populations.To see where other countries around the world fall within the rankings, download a copy of the report today. You can also subscribe to content from the Well-Being Index; by subscribing, we’ll let you know when we release new reports and insights from the Well-Being Index.