Saturday, April 3, 2010

Who's Thriving Worldwide?

from GOOD Blog >
Andrew Price on March 29, 2010

Gallup has released the results of a new global "wellbeing survey" and it confirms what we already know: There's a lot disparity in how comfortable it is to live on Earth.

Adults within each of the four major regions are often worlds apart in how they evaluate their lives. Africa has the lowest wellbeing; no country in this region has a thriving percentage higher than 25%. In fact, of the 41 countries where the thriving percentage is 10% or lower, more than half are in Africa. Conversely, in the Americas, where "thriving" is highest, the only countries with less than a quarter thriving are Cuba (24%) and Haiti (4%). "Thriving" in the Americas is highest in Costa Rica (63%) and Canada (62%), followed closely by Panama (58%), Brazil (58%), and the United States (57%).

At the extreme ends, 82 percent of people are "thriving" in Denmark and 1 percent are "thriving" in Togo.

There are a few different measures of wellbeing that pollsters, economists, and academics use. In this survey, Gallup used the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale, which asks you to imagine where you are on a scale from the "best possible life for you" to the "worst possible life for you," and where you think you'll be in five years. It's a much more subjective measure than Gross National Happiness, for example.

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