Costa Rica was named the happiest country in Latin America for the second year running in the UN-sponsored World Happiness Report.
Ranked 23rd in the global index, Costa Rica was followed in the region by Uruguay, Panama and Brazil.
In spite of being ranked at the top of the happiness scale in Latin America, the Central American country slipped seven slots from last year’s index. In the 2017 report, Costa Rica was ranked 12th, two spots above the United States.
The Covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation have increased living costs across Latin America. Although money is a factor, the UN report makes it clear that it isn’t the only one taken into account in its measuring of happiness.
The report takes into account several aspects, including GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and the perception of corruption.
Costa Ricans tend to have strong family ties, and their country is known for beautiful landscapes and pleasant weather.
A stable democracy and a fast-growing economy are the advantages for Uruguay, which ranked 30 in the UN index. Panama scored well in the categories of GDP per capita, social support and healthy life expectancy.
Brazil fared poorly in GDP per capita and access to healthcare, but its population is quite happy with their income levels. They enjoy their freedom to decide how to live and are wll known for the strenght of their interpersonal relations.
Other Latin American countries that found a slot on the index’s top 50 include Guatemala (39), Chile (44), Nicaragua (45), Mexico (46) and El Salvador (49).