Which Countries Are “Thriving”?

Between 2005 and 2009, researchers at Gallup asked people in more than 150 countries to rate their lives on an ascending scale of zero to 10—what their daily experiences were like then and how they predicted they’d be in the future. People were considered to be “thriving” if they rated their current lives a “7” or higher and their future lives an “8” or above. If they rated their lives a “4” or lower, they were considered to be “suffering.”
What did the researchers find? Well, there’s a huge difference in how people in different parts of the world evaluate their lives.


At the top is Denmark, where 82 percent of the population is thriving, and at the bottom is Togo, where only 1 percent of people thrive. Of all the African countries, Malawi does best—with only 25 percent of its population thriving—and Africa is home to more than half of the countries where the percentage of those thriving is less than 10 percent.
In the Americas, thriving is lowest in Haiti (4 percent) and Cuba (24 percent) and highest in Costa Rica (63 percent) and Canada (62 percent), followed by Panama (58 percent), Brazil (58 percent), and the United States (57 percent). (Click here to see the complete list of countries.)

Category: Polls

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  1. […] higher on a general measure called the Peace Index. So when I learned that Gallup had published a new international ranking, the Global Wellbeing index, I naturally wanted to see how national scores on this measure compare […]

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