Latin America Tops Global List Of Most Emotional, Positive Nations

Joggers pass the Presidential residence in Guatemala city on August 27, 2015.
Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

Latin American countries top the list of the world’s most emotional and positive nations, a new Gallup survey reveals.

Meanwhile, former Soviet nations were more likely to boast the world’s least emotional residents and Iraqis and Iranians were the most likely to experience negative emotions.

Gallup’s 2015 Global Emotions report released Thursday quantifies positive and negative experiences of 148 countries’ residents via 153,000 interviews conducted in 2014. The interviews probed residents on 10 questions to gauge their positive and negative emotions from the day before.

“The five negative experiences include anger, stress, sadness, physical pain and worry. The five positive experiences include feeling well-rested, being treated with respect, enjoyment, smiling and laughing a lot and learning or doing something interesting,” Gallup explains.

“The most and least emotional countries are based on the rankings of the average ‘yes’ responses to all questions,” the outfit adds.

Based on the results, Gallup reports that Latin American countries dominate the list of most emotional nations with residents answering in the affirmative to six out of the 10 emotional experiences. Making the list of most emotional nations were: Bolivia, El Salvador, Ecuador, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Iraq, Cambodia, Columbia, Costa Rice, and Honduras.

The least emotional nations included Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Mongolia, Belarus, Sudan, Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, and Kosovo.

Latin American nations were specifically abundant on Gallup’s list of the most positive nations — all top ten countries whose residents were most likely to experience positive emotion were Latin American: Paraguay, Columbia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Venezuela, Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

“That so many people report experiencing positive emotions in Latin America at least partly reflects the cultural tendency in the region to focus on the positives in life,” Gallup notes in the report.

“Personal freedoms and the presence of social networks are also highly predictive of scores on the Positive Experience Index. The latter helps to explain why people from poor countries in Latin America still seem to live such positive lives,” it adds.

In terms of negative emotions — Gallup reports that Iran and Iraq currently have the highest negative experience scores in the world. The duo are followed by Cambodia, Liberia, South Sudan, Uganda, Cyprus, Greece, Togo, Bolivia, and the Palestinian Territories.

“The presence of Iraq and Iran at the top of the list may not be that surprising given the political and economic turmoil that people in these countries have been experiencing lately, and how strongly related negative scores are to people’s perceptions about their living standards and health problems,” the report notes. “In fact, people in most of the countries with the highest negative scores in 2014 were contending with some type of disruption — economic or otherwise — including Liberia, which was dealing with the onset of the Ebola outbreak at the time of the survey.”

The United States landed lower than most Latin American countries but relatively high on the global list of most to least emotional nations with Americans answering “yes” to the 10 questions, on average, 56 percent of the the time.