Panama tops Gallup’s Well Being poll – happiest people in the world!

Blog by Terry Richmeier & Andres Lay


We have been living in Boquete, Panama now for just over a year and we have felt the friendliness and happiness of the locals since the beginning. In a recent Gallup Poll Panama was number one on the list of “Well-Being”. How did the Gallup Poll come up with this conclusion?

Gallup conducts surveys worldwide to help world leaders better understand their citizens’ attitudes, behaviors, and wellbeing. Gallup continuously surveys in more than 150 countries and areas on more than 100 global questions as well as region-specific items. Gallup’s global surveys cover more than 98% of the world’s adult population through representative samples.

Gallup interviews approximately 1,000 residents per country. The target population is the entire civilian, non-institutionalized population, aged 15 and older. Gallup asks everyone from Australia to Pakistan the same questions, every time, in the same way, with the same meaning, and asks them in his or her own language to produce statistically comparable results. Gallup uses telephone surveys in countries where telephone coverage represents at least 80% of the population. Where telephone penetration is less than 80%, Gallup uses face-to-face interviewing.

This State of Well Being interviews were based on five specific areas. These areas are: Purpose, Financial, Physical, Social and Community.

Within these five areas are the following subjects and one sample question. However, this is just one of many questions that can be asked.

Business and Economics

Do you currently have a plan, idea, or invention in mind to improve your standard of living?

Citizen Engagement

Do you personally know of someone who is planning to move out of this country where you live in the next 12 months, or not?

Communications and Technology

Does your home have a DVD player?

Food and Shelter

Do you, or the person who owns this dwelling, have a deed or property title?

Government and Politics


Are healthcare services in this country accessible to any person who needs them, regardless of their economic situation, or not?

Education and Families

In the past 7 days, have you shared a meal with all the members of your household, or not?

Environment and Energy

In your opinion, do other countries take advantage of this country’s natural resources, or not?

Do you agree or disagree that this country has never enjoyed more social and political peace before?

Law and Order

Is there illicit drug trafficking or drug sales in the area where you live?

Religion and Ethics

Using a 5-point scale, where 5 means strongly agree and 1 means strongly disagree, how much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? I always treat people of other religious faiths with respect.

Social Issues

In the past 12 months, have you or any relative of yours been denied an opportunity to get ahead because of your political ideas?


Do you have a talent of any kind, or something you can do better than most people you know, or not?


Do you think you could lose your job in the next 6 months?

So, there is a lot of hard work that goes into the Gallup Poll only to prove what we ex-pats already knew, that Panama is a fantastic and a happy place! Come on down and see for yourself. At Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast we can even assist you in finding a place to purchase or rent if you decide to stay permanently!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: