The most recent list of Gallup-Healthways Country Well-Being report has come out, and these are the top 10 countries with the highest level of "well-being" according to it:
(% are the % thriving in the country)
1. Panama — 53
2. Costa Rica — 47.6
3. Puerto Rico — 45.8
4. Switzerland — 39.4
5. Belize — 38.9
6. Chile — 38.7
7. Denmark — 37
8. Guatemala — 36.3
9. (tie) Austria — 35.6
9. (tie) Mexico — 35.6
But does this mean anything?
I don't think so. Here's why. To create the index, 140,000 interviews in 145 countries occurred, and they self report to the following questions.
You like what you do every day.
You learn or do something interesting every day.
Someone in your life always encourages you to be healthy.
Your friends and family give you positive energy every day.
You have enough money to do everything you want to do.
In the last seven days, you have worried about money.
The city or area where you live is a perfect place for you.
In the last 12 months, you have received recognition for helping to improve the city or area where you live.
In the last seven days, you have felt active and productive every day.
Your physical health is near-perfect.
How can a self-reported survey be truly representative of the conditions in the world? Just as North Korea reported themselves as #2 on the "Happiness Index." I really believe this index is confusing well-being with reality. Well-being is an indicator of how thoroughly you've been duped into thinking things are good. Kind of a fat dumb and happy index.
Yep. This is a fat dumb and happy index.