If you want a dose of happiness, it’s time to pack your bags and head down south to Latin America. However, if you’re happy and you know it, you probably live in the Americas, specifically this Latin American country, which has a canal. Proving money cannot buy happiness, Panama ranks No. 1 on the country well-being list, with the most satisfied citizens, despite lagging in wealth, according to a Gallup and Healthways poll entitled, “State of Global Well-Being: Results of the Gallup-Healthways Global Well-Being Index.”

Happiness may be contagious, as five of Panama’s fellow neighbors — Costa Rica, Brazil, Uruguay, El Salvador, and Guatemala — are among the countries on the top 10 list of the world’s most happiest places. The poll measured each country’s well-being across five key areas, including purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. Purpose was defined as how well you like to spend your days and how motivated you are to achieve your goals, while the social element looked at whether people had supportive relationships and love in their lives. Community observed whether people liked where they lived, felt safe, and had pride in their communities, while financial and physical focused on people’s economic means and their health. Responses could be given as “thriving,” “struggling,” or “suffering.”

Top Ten Happiest Countries:

Panama (61%)

Costa Rica (44%)

Denmark (40%)

Austria (39%)

Brazil (39%)

Uruguay (37%)

El Salvador (37%)

Sweden (36%)

Guatemala (34%)

Canada (34%)

Gallup conducted face-to-face and telephone interviews with respondents in the 135 countries and regional areas to get to their conclusions. Panamanians were found to be well above the world average for feeling positive about their lives, with 61 percent thriving in at least three of the five categories, compared with just 17 percent internationally. "We know in Latin America culturally, there are a lot of highly positive emotions," said Jon Clifton, managing director of the Gallup World Poll, NBC News reported. "It is a pretty emotional culture.”

2013 Global Well-Being
Photo courtesy of Gallup. Gallup

Panama came in at the top in four of the five categories, while Sweden was found to be the world leader for financial well-being, with 72 percent saying they were thriving. Costa Rica was second in the overall well-being rankings, with 44 percent thriving in three or more categories. Surprisingly, the U.S. did not make it into the top 10 in a single category.

America scored 25th in the community and physical categories, hinting Americans are not as connected and less healthy compared to citizens from the other 24 countries. The U.S. also takes the cake for being the most obese country in the world. Moreover, Americans consistently scored poorly in workplace happiness, especially on Wednesday, according to Clinton. "We need to do a better job of understanding workplace happiness," he said. "People will take paycuts in order to do jobs they love."

On the opposite end of the happy spectrum, Syria takes the top spot as the unhappiest place on earth, as the people there are so badly off. This comes as no surprise as the country is currently war torn, along with Afghanistan. Adults in sub-Saharan Africa were the least likely to be thriving in three or more elements of well-being.

Top Ten Least Happiest Countries:

Syria (1%)

Afghanistan (1%)

Haiti (3%)

Democratic Republic of the Congo (5%)

Chad (5%)

Madagascar (6%)

Uganda (6%)

Benin (6%)

Croatia (7%)

Georgia (7%)

“Every leader, in every country, has a duty to improve the lives and communities of the populations they serve,” said Clifton, in the press release.

Perhaps we could all use some happiness hacks from the world’s happiest countries.