Dominicans’ happiness plunges in just 3 years: UN report
United Nations.- The security problems in Latin America, the region with the world’s highest murder rate, don’t stymy its citizens from being the happiest on Earth, an apparent contradiction explained by the enormous progress the region achieved during the last decade, EFE reports.
Interviewed to mark the first International Happiness Day on Wednesday, UN deputy secretary general Heraldo Muñoz noted that the "58 million Latin Americans are no longer poor since the last ten years, have come surmounted the crisis and in addition to that there’re no more dictatorships and democracy spreads."
Latin America’s homicide rate is the world’s highest, averaging 22.2 murders per 100,000 population, well above the global average of 6.9, but at the same time the region has been able to continue bolstering its human development standards in recent years.
Among Latin American countries Costa Rica ranks first and 12th worldwide, followed by Venezuela (19), Panama (21), Mexico (24), Brazil (25), Puerto Rico (27), Guatemala (37), Argentina (39) and Colombia (41).
Below those figure other countries like Chile (43), El Salvador (48), Uruguay (50), Bolivia (57), Honduras (63), Ecuador (66), Cuba (69), Paraguay (70), Peru (77), Nicaragua (89), and Dominican Republic (93) and, far behind, Haiti.
In a similar study Dominican Republic figured as the second happiest country in the world just three years ago, paced only by Costa Rica.
According to a UN report released last year, which compares data from the pollster Gallup between 2005 and 2011, the world’s happiest countries are Denmark, Finland and Norway, while the Central African Republic, Benin and Togo are the opposite.