These 10 Countries Boast the World’s Highest Share of Thriving Citizens

In this Aug. 4, 2014, photo, two cargo ships sails though the Miraflores locks on the Panama Canal in Panama City. The Aug. 15 centennial of the opening of the Panama Canal is being marred by increasing doubts about Panama's expansion of the U.S.-built waterway. Disputes between the government and the project’s European contractor, as well as labor unions, mean an already-delayed December 2015 completion deadline is unlikely to be met. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
In this Aug. 4, 2014, photo, two cargo ships sails though the Miraflores locks on the Panama Canal in Panama City. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)


(Bloomberg) – Turns out the old saying that money isn’t everything holds true.

The latest Gallup-Healthways well-being ranking puts Panama — a sliver of land with one of the world’s busiest shipping routes — as the place to be, along with its Central American neighbors. There are half as many Panamanians as New Yorkers, but it seems they are better off even when their gross domestic product per capita is $11,036, a fifth that of the U.S.

The results are based on 146,000 interviews with adults across 145 countries and areas throughout all of last year. Participants were asked 10 questions focusing on their ambitions, their social setting, their finances, where they live and physical health.

On the face of it, the results may appear surprising. Isn’t Puerto Rico going bankrupt? Doesn’t Guatemala have one of the world’s highest murder rates?


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