Econintersect: The Global Well-Being Index, created by Healthways and Gallup, measures well-being across five elements (purpose, social, financial, community and physical) and individual responses are categorized as thriving, struggling or suffering. The analysis ranks countries based on the percentage of the population that is thriving in three or more elements of well-being.
In 2014, 17% of the adults we surveyed worldwide are thriving in three or more elements of well-being, the same percentage as 2013. Among all regions, the Americas have the highest percentage of their population thriving in three or more elements and lead all other regions in purpose, social, community and physical well-being. Latin Americans in particular have the highest levels of well-being globally. Europe leads all other regions in financial well-being, with nine of the top 10 countries coming from northern Europe.
For the second year, Panama leads all other countries in well-being, with 53% of its residents thriving in three or more elements. Panama is also the highest country for purpose (60%) and physical well-being (52%). Puerto Rico, Norway and Sri Lanka round out the list of top countries in the individual elements: 63% of Puerto Ricans are thriving in social well-being; 69% of Norwegians are thriving in financial well-being; and 50% of Sri Lankans are thriving in community well-being. In 2014, the U.S. was ranked 23rd in overall well-being, falling from a 12th place ranking in 2013.
Afghanistan ranks last with 0% of Afghans thriving in three or more elements. Afghans also rank last in purpose, social and financial well-being. Residents in Bhutan have the lowest community and physical well-being globally, with only 5% and 6% of Bhutanese thriving in these categories respectively.
Definitions: The Five Elements of Well-Being
• Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
• Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life
• Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
• Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily Levels of Well-Being
• Thriving: Well-being that is strong and consistent in a particular element • Struggling: Well-being that is moderate or inconsistent in a particular element
• Suffering: Well-being that is low and inconsistent in a particular element
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