Forget the recession – Irish people believe they are amongst the most fulfilled and optimistic in the world according to a new global survey.
Ireland is ranked 10th in the world in the latest Gallup global wellbeing survey when it comes to citizens who regard themselves as thriving.
The high placing in the 2010 poll will come as a surprise to many as the country battles against the downturn and the after-effects of the collapse of the Celtic Tiger.
However Gallup say that their poll, which surveyed more than 1,000 adults in each of 155 different countries and covers 98 per cent of humanity, is a fair barometer of the national feeling.
According to the Gallup poll, some 62 per cent of Irish people rated themselves as thriving last year.
That figure is down from the 2007 poll however when, as the Celtic Tiger flourished for the final time, 76 per cent of Irish people rated themselves as thriving and Ireland ranked eighth in the world.
Even allowing for the current recession however, just 37 per cent described themselves as struggling in the latest Gallup survey.
And just one per cent said they were suffering as per the parameters of the Cantril Self-Anchoring Striving Scale.
Participants were asked to rate their wellbeing on a scale of one to 10 by Gallup with respondents considered to be thriving if they rate their lives at seven or higher and their lives in five years time at eight or higher.
Interestingly, according to the Irish Times, the Irish survey was carried out in May and June of 2010 before the arrival of the IMF, the bail-out and the tax changes in the last budget.
Ireland did however come out of the poll in a far more positive light than some of those countries now bankrolling the EU-IMF bailout.
Germany’s economy may be buoyant again but only 44 per cent of people there rated themselves as thriving, slightly ahead of France at 42 per cent. More people in both Germany and France saw themselves as struggling.
Ireland is also ahead of the US (59 per cent) and the United Kingdom (54 per cent), which had similar boom and bust housing markets.
According to Gallup, the countries with the most fulfilled citizens are Denmark, with 72 per cent and Sweden with 69 per cent. Canada, on 69 per cent, and Australia, on 65 per cent, are third and fourth respectively.
Earthquake-hit Haiti, at three per cent, the Central African Republic, at 2 per cent, and Chad, on 1 per cent, have the fewest citizens who regard themselves as thriving while no country in sub-Saharan Africa had a thriving percentage higher than 19 per cent.