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Not all might be perfect in Belize and we all might complain here and there about a few things that bother us, but overall, we are a happy nation whose people live with much freedom. So it is not surprising to find out that a new global index has Belize standing strong at the No. 5 position in the World Well-Being Rankings.

As a region, the Americas faired quite well in Gallup-Healthways Country Well-Being report, with Costa Rica (2), Belize (5) and Mexico in the top 10 positions and Panama at No. 1. Switzerland was the top European country, in fourth. At No. 23, the U.S. (dropping from No. 12) is one spot behind Israel and one ahead of Canada.

No wonder Belize is such an amazing place to live in and has so much visitors flocking to its shores. We might think that we are No. 1 on that list, but if you are looking to boost your own well-being you might want to increase your leisure activities or even vacation more in Belize!!! The report indicates that the benefits can include "lower blood pressure, lower stress hormones and smaller waists."

To create its global index, Gallup looked at how people in 145 countries and areas respond to questions about five areas related to their well-being: purpose; social; financial; community; and physical (see the questions at bottom of this post).

World's top 10 — percent thriving
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

Worldwide, only about one in six adults are considered to be thriving or to have strong or consistent results in at least three of those five areas, Gallup says.

"Latin Americans in particular have higher levels of well-being than any other regional group," the polling firm says. "Residents of many Latin American countries are among the most likely in the world to report daily positive experiences such as smiling and laughing, feeling enjoyment, and feeling treated with respect each day."

Among regions, sub-Saharan Africa was found to be the least thriving over all. But the worst circumstances were found in Afghanistan, which finished last in several categories.

Gallup Notes:

"Subjective well-being does not necessarily correlate with GDP, the presence of conflict or other absolute indicators. War-torn populations such as those in Afghanistan may have extremely low well-being, but Gallup and Healthways also found low levels of well-being in countries that are relatively stable, such as Croatia, South Korea and Singapore."

In compiling the index, Gallup says it collected data through 146,000 interviews. To get a sense of how people are doing, Gallup asked people to say how they felt about two aspects of each of its five elements:

Belize in Top 5 of Gallup Healthways Country Well-Being Report

(The 10 highest-ranked countries in the five areas of personal well-being surveyed in a new Gallup global index. The elements include purpose, social, financial, community and physical)

Purpose
You like what you do every day.
You learn or do something interesting every day.

Social
Someone in your life always encourages you to be healthy.
Your friends and family give you positive energy every day.

Financial
You have enough money to do everything you want to do.
In the last seven days, you have worried about money.

Community
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.

Physical
In the last seven days, you have felt active and productive every day.
Your physical health is near-perfect

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Dorian Nuñez

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