Panama Ranked #1 in World’s Happiest Country Survey; Again




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Where are people living the best? Well, if you believe Gallup’s recent study, and the throngs of locals and expats there, Panama is the happiest country in the World. This year, Panama topped Gallup’s Global Well-Being Index for the 2nd time in a row, and with good reason. According to the study, Panama leads in well-being for a plethora of reasons, and is in good company, with seven of the top ten countries on the list located in Latin America. The other top ten countries, in order, were Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Belize, Chile, Denmark, Guatemala, Austria and Mexico. Though this list is merely a sample statistic compiled from various quality of life factors, it’s a great indicator of the comfort and quality of life in each respective country.

What is the Global Well-Being Index?

Ranking factors of worlds happiest countries

The Global Well-Being Index is a study that uses data collected from all around the world, to measure how happy, secure, and optimistic about the future people are in each country. It’s essentially a way to gauge how comfortable people are with their quality of life, based on shared common measurements of well-being and success. According to Gallup:

The Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index uses a holistic definition of well-being and self-reported data from individuals across the globe to create a unique view of societies’ progress on the elements that matter most to well-being: purpose, social, financial, community and physical. It is the most proven, mature and comprehensive measure of well-being in populations.

Why Panama is the Happiest Country

There are many interpretations for why Panama leads in happiness, or as the study phrases it, well-being, but to put it in simple terms; people enjoy an unprecedented quality of life here. Access to food, affordable housing, housing security, job security, low unemployment, and good healthcare are some of the big reasons. But if you ask a Panamanian, or an expat who lives here, they’ll say Panama leads the world in happiness because of the “no worry” culture. It’s not to say that locals and expats don’t worry, but Panama is well known for a laid-back attitude, and proud low stress culture. With easy access to all of the aforementioned quality of life variables, there’s really very little to get stressed about.

Panama Has More to Offer Than You May Think

While the low stress reputation and quality of life level is evident in the survey, Panama’s well-being goes far beyond that. Panama is a country on the move in nearly every service sector. It leads the way in LatAm finance, and is a growing player in the international finance market, specifically in regards to banking. Panama is a global shipping powerhouse, and will increase their international shipping traffic immensely once the Canal Expansion project is complete. Panama is the world’s happiest country not only for what it has, but also for what the future holds. There is opportunity in Panama, and it’s palpable to the people that live and invest there. And this is a huge deal, Gallup poll or not.

Learn More About Living and Investing in Panama

It’s easy to feel proud about being ranked the world’s leader in well-being, but there is so much more to discover if you do your research. Check out our website for a FREE downloadable guide to moving to Panama, or learn about Panama immigration or investing in Panama, and contact us today with any questions. 

About Manoj Chatlani


Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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