Latin American Countries Continue to Lead the World in Positive Emotions

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Gallup Global Emotions 2024 Report offers a snapshot from Gallup’s latest measurements of people’s positive and negative daily experiences. The findings are based on nearly 146,000 interviews with adults in 142 countries and areas in 2023.

Gallup’s Positive and Negative Experience Indexes measure life’s intangibles — feelings and emotions — that traditional economic indicators such as GDP were never intended to capture. Each index provides a real-time snapshot of people’s daily experiences, offering leaders insights into the health of their societies that they cannot gather from economic measures alone.

Negative Experience Index Declined Worldwide

On a global level, Gallup’s Negative Experience Index fell for the first time since 2014. All five negative emotions that make up the index fell between 2022 and 2023, but stress levels dropped the most. Thirty-seven percent of the world felt stressed in 2023, down three percentage points from the previous year, but notably remaining well above where it was a decade ago (33%) and the years before that.

Latin American countries typically don’t score high on Gallup’s Negative Experience Index. In 2023, Paraguay scored the lowest in the region at 27, and Peru the highest at 40. Mexico and Panama scored 28, Costa Rica 33 and Guatemala 34.

Some countries reported significant surges in negative experiences such as stress, including Latvia (17 points), Kuwait (14 points) and Egypt (13 points). But in Latin America, stress levels remained relatively unchanged. More than one in three in Paraguay (35%) reported experiencing a lot of stress during the previous day, while almost four in 10 people in Mexico (39%) reported the same, similar to Panama (38%). More than four in 10 reported experiencing stress in Guatemala (43%) and Costa Rica (45%).

Positive Experience Index Rebound Complete

Further reinforcing that 2023 was a better year for the world’s emotional health, positive experiences rebounded to their pre-pandemic levels, completing the recovery that started in 2022.

Last year, three of the five emotions were stable compared with the previous year. Over seven in 10 people worldwide said they felt well-rested (71%), experienced a lot of enjoyment (73%), or smiled or laughed a lot (73%).

The Positive Experience Index is a measure of experienced wellbeing on the day before the survey. Questions provide a real-time measure of respondents’ positive experiences. It is based on people’s responses to five questions about positive experiences they had the day before the survey. Higher scores indicate that more of the population reported experiencing these emotions, and lower scores indicate the opposite.

In past years, Latin American countries have typically dominated the list of countries where adults report a lot of positive emotions each day. In 2023, the region was again well‑represented on the Positive Experience Index.

Among the top 10 countries in the world with the highest scores, six are in Latin America. Paraguay and Panama top the list at 86, followed by Guatemala (85) and Mexico (84). El Salvador and Costa Rica follow right behind with a score of 83.

People younger than 30 continued to be the most positive of all age groups. Further, their positivity rebounded faster, with emotions bouncing back a year earlier than their older peers. Most of the improvement on the index in 2023 occurred among those aged 30 and older.

The World Learned Something in 2023

For almost two decades, the percentage of people worldwide who said they learned or did something interesting the previous day has seldom topped 50%. The 54% who did so in 2023 represents a new record high.

The rates are much higher in Latin America: Three out of four people in Guatemala said they learned or did something interesting the previous day, and more than seven in 10 in El Salvador (73%), Panama (72%), and Nicaragua and Paraguay (71%) reported the same. Not far behind are Mexico and Costa Rica, where 69% of people reported having the same opportunities in 2023.

While more people in all age groups worldwide said they had these opportunities in 2023 than in 2022, people younger than 30 continued to be the most likely of all age groups to report so (59%). Percentages among older age groups also reached new highs (54% for those aged 30 to 49 and 50% for those aged 50 and older).

About Gallup

Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.

About the Gallup World Poll

The Gallup World Poll is the most comprehensive and farthest-reaching survey of the world. The survey connects with more than 99% of the world’s adult population through annual, nationally representative surveys with comparable metrics across countries. The Gallup World Poll is used to measure and track progress on several U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and is the official statistic for work and life for more than 55 indexes and metrics associated with the most important aspects of individuals’ lives, their communities and their countries.