Where To Go If You Want To "Thrive"

Photographed by Alexandra Gavillet.


When was the last time you asked yourself: Am I thriving? What about the country we live in? Is it thriving, too? The yearly Gallup-Healthways State Of Well-Being Report is out, and it compiles holistic data from 146,000 adults in 145 countries. Respondents answered various questions pertaining to five aspects of well-being (purpose, social, physical, financial, and community), and whether, in each category, they were “thriving,” “struggling,” or “suffering.”

The small nation of Panama took the satisfaction lead, as over half of its residents considered themselves "thriving" in over three of the five aspects of well-being. Other notable thrivers include Sri Lanka, which is number-one in community well-being. Norway is in the lead financially, and Puerto Rico tops the list in social well-being. The lowest overall ranking went to Afghanistan, with 0% of Afghans claiming to thrive in at least three categories. What about the good-old U.S.? We sit 23rd in overall well-being — which, though toward the top 15% of most well countries, is a steep drop from our number-11 spot in 2013.

The Gallup researchers compile this data for a big-picture reason: "To help guide policies, interventions, and development investments for community transformation and real-life behavior change.” As in: If we can change the way nations treat people — and thus change those people’s status from "suffering" to "thriving" — we can change the world.

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