Mapping Global Well-Being

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This map from the Gallup Organization shows the well-being levels of the nations of the world.

Gallup collected the data through from interviews and telephone surveys with individuals across 155 nations between 2005 and 2009. It distinguishes three categories of well-being – suffering (low levels), struggling (medium levels), and thriving (high levels).

More than half of Americans (57 percent) report they are thriving, while 40 percent say they are “struggling,” and three percent report they are “suffering.”

The highest levels of “thriving” are found in Northern European, Scandinavian, and Nordic countries – Denmark (82 percent), Finland (75 percent), Norway (69 percent), Sweden (68 percent), and the Netherlands (68 percent).

Relatively high levels of “thriving” are also found in Australia (62 percent), New Zealand (63 percent), Canada (62 percent), Israel (62 percent), Switzerland (62 percent), and Costa Rica (63 percent).

High levels of “suffering” and “struggling” are found in many African nations, in Saudi Arabia in the Middle East, in Asian nations like Cambodia, Laos, and Mongolia, and in Bulgaria, Latvia, and Albania, as well as Haiti.

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Sui Zhang