Latin Americans are 'happiest people in world'
The world's happiest people are in Latin America and those living in Singapore are the most unhappy, a poll has found.
Despite faring poorly in traditional measures of well-being, countries like Guatemala, rank highly for positive emotions.
"In Guatemala, it's a culture of friendly people who are always smiling," Luz Castillo, a 30-year-old surfing instructor, said.
"Despite all the problems that we're facing, we're surrounded by natural beauty that lets us get away from it all," Castillo said.
According to the Telegraph, Gallup Inc. asked about 1,000 people in each of 148 countries last year if they were well-rested, had been treated with respect, smiled or laughed a lot, learned or did something interesting and felt feelings of enjoyment.
In Panama and Paraguay, 85 percent of those polled said yes to all five, putting those countries at the top of the list.
They were followed closely by El Salvador, Venezuela, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Guatemala, the Philippines, Ecuador and Costa Rica, the report said.
The people least likely to report positive emotions lived in Singapore, the wealthy and orderly city-state that ranks among the most developed in the world, it added.
Other wealthy countries also were surprisingly got low ranking on the list. Germany and France tied with the poor African state of Somaliland for 47th place.
According to the report, for the nine least positive countries, some were not surprising, like Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and Haiti.
For others at the bottom, Armenia at the second lowest spot, Georgia and Lithuania, misery is something a little more ephemeral, the report added.
"Feeling unhappy is part of the national mentality here," Agaron Adibekian, a sociologist in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, said.
"Armenians like being mournful; there have been so many upheavals in the nation's history. The Americans keep their smiles on and avoid sharing their problems with others. And the Armenians feel ashamed about being successful," Adibekian added.
The United States was ranked No. 33 in positive outlook.