South American Country Tops 2019 Global Emotions Report

Category: Human Interest


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. populace / ˈpɒp yə ləs / (n) – the residents of a particular place or country

    The government’s new tax policy made the entire populace suffer.

  2. gauge / geɪdʒ / (v) – to estimate something

    You can gauge the security of a city by its crime rate.

  3. family-centric / ˈfæm ə li ˈsɛntrɪk / (adj) – having all interests or focus centered on the family

    He’s a family-centric guy who spends all his free time bonding with his family.

  4. instability / ˌɪn stəˈbɪl ɪ ti / (n) – the state of being unpredictable and chaotic

    When the country was experiencing economic instability, many people left to look for jobs overseas.

  5. displacement / dɪsˈpleɪs mənt / (n) – the forceful removal of people or animals from where they live

    Ongoing war has caused the displacement of hundreds of people.


Read the text below.

Paraguay /ˈpær əˌgwaɪ/ in South America has ranked as the world’s happiest country in the 2019 Global Emotions Report.

The Global Emotions Report is a survey meant to track the emotional state of people worldwide. It gives country leaders insight into the well-being of the general populace that is not solely based on income and economic factors.

The study was conducted by American analytics company Gallup, Inc. wherein researchers interviewed over 151,000 individuals from 143 countries. Participants were asked how they felt and what experiences they had the day before. The questions are based on Gallup’s Positive and Negative Experience Indexes, which gauge the good and bad daily experiences of the participants.

Paraguay scored 85 in Gallup’s Positive Experience Index, making it the happiest country in the world. Joining Paraguay at the top of the list are Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, and El Salvador, which are all Latin American countries. The result comes despite records of violence and high levels of poverty in these countries.

The report suggests that the happiest countries tend to focus more on the positive experiences in life. A Mexican psychologist confirms this, saying that family-centric Latin Americans use their families as inspiration to get through challenges.

In contrast, Chad, an African country, got the highest Negative Experience score in the survey. Gallup explained that Chad’s ranking was due to the political instability and displacement currently experienced by its people.

Other conflict-ridden countries also had high negative scores. Researchers noted that worry and sadness, as well as anger and physical pain, might have led to this result.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it is a good idea to gauge well-being by surveying people’s experiences and emotions the day before? Why or why not?
• In what ways can the results of the Global Emotions Report be used to make a country better? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What factors do you think contribute to a country’s general mood (e.g. economy, culture)? Discuss.
• What can countries do to achieve or maintain a consistently positive mood? Explain your answer.