Nine of the ten most optimistic countries in the world are Latin American, according to the recent Global Emotions report developed by the international consultancy Gallup. The nine Latin countries that dominate that list are Paraguay, Panama, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Colombia. The only non-Latin country on the list is Indonesia, which appears in position 6.

This list reflects the cultural tendency in Latin America to "focus on the positive aspects of life." According to Gallup, adults were asked last year in 143 countries if they had five positive experiences the day before the survey. At least seven out of 10 people said they experienced a lot of enjoyment (71%), they felt well-rested (72%), they smiled or laughed a lot (74%) and they felt treated with respect (87%). With these answers, the consultant develops the Gallup Positive Experience Index, as published by BBC Mundo.

The index score for the world in 2018, which was 71, is not far from what has been marking the last decade but reverses what seemed the beginning of a downward trend in positive emotions since 2016. Last year, the leaders in positive experience were Paraguay (who leads the list since 2015) and Panama, with 85 points. With 43 points, Afghanistan appeared in the queue.

This year, the Positive Experience Index was as follows:

Paraguay - 85

Panama - 85

Guatemala - 84

Mexico - 84

El Salvador - 83

Indonesia - 83

Honduras - 83

Ecuador - 82

Costa Rica - 81

Colombia - 81

On the contrary, a third of the people surveyed said they suffered stress, while at least one in five experienced sadness or anger. In general, people are increasingly angry, stressed, and worried, according to the survey. The most negative country was Chad, followed by Niger and Sierra Leone. The survey showed that stress levels were at a new record, while levels of worry and sadness also increased. About 39% of respondents said they had been worried the day before the survey and 35% were stressed.

See the report here.