Costa Ricans rank 2nd in the world for well-being, just behind Panama, says Gallup

June 24, 2015
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Costa Ricans are once again ranked among the world’s most fulfilled people, according to a new report from Gallup.

The 2014 State of Global Well-Being Rankings placed Costa Rica second in the world, just behind Panama. Costa Rica outscored countries like Switzerland (4), Chile (6) and Denmark (7). Latin America scored well in the rankings, holding six of the top 10 spots.

The rankings, measure whether or not people are “thriving” in at least three areas described as social, purpose, physical, financial and community.

The report’s methodology defined the categories as:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals.
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life.
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security.
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community.
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily.

Costa Rica came in second place, behind Panama, with 47.6 percent of Ticos “thriving” in three or more categories. Panamanians ranked No. 1 in two categories, with 60 percent saying they are happy with their daily purpose in life and 52 percent saying they are in good physical condition.

Costa Rica scored especially well in the social (2), physical (2) and purpose (3) categories, but lagged behind in the financial area (50). The country has struggled with a persistent 20 percent poverty rate during the last 20 years, and unemployment is over 10 percent.

The United States came in at 23, while Canada was 24. Afghanistan came in last at 145 with zero percent of those surveyed thriving in at least three of the categories.

The rankings are the result of 146,000 interviews with adults across 145 countries and areas conducted between Jan. 1, 2014 and Dec. 31, 2014.

Ed. note: For some reason, this kind of good news just makes us want to dance:

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