21/12/2012 - Latin Americans are the most optimistic people in the world and several countries in the region are in the 'top ten' of places on the planet where people have more positive feelings, according to a poll published Friday.
At the other end, the inhabitants of Singapore, Iraq and Armenia are the most pessimistic on the planet, according to the Gallup Institute survey that assessed the mood of people in 148 countries around the world.
Panama, Paraguay, El Salvador and Venezuela top the list of countries in the world where the most people responded "yes" to five questions about their state of mind, among them about whether slept well, felt fairly treated, if they smiled during the day or if they learned something new. The 10 most optimistic countries from the list also include Guatemala (in seventh place), Ecuador (9th) and Costa Rica (10th).
The average number of positive answers to these questions in 148 countries of the survey was fairly high (85 percent of adults say feel treated with respect, and 72 percent smiled and laughed during the day, among others). Gallup reached the conclusion that "the world is quite optimistic despite global challenges."
The poll was conducted by surveying 1,000 people in each country during 2011.
"This data may be a surprise to analysts and leaders that only take into account the traditional economic indicators," Gallup said, noting Panama ranks 90th in the world in terms of economic data, but first in the optimisim survey.
Singapore, the most pessimistic country, has the fifth highest GDP per person.
"Leaders are looking for ways to improve the condition of its inhabitants in their countries, but they need to do more to incorporate the well-being in their leadership strategies," concluded the Gallup poll.
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