Canadians share second place among the most contented people on the planet, according to a global survey that asked respondents to rate their own lives.

Gallup's global well-being survey found that 69 per cent of Canadians polled fell into a category that Gallup called "thriving."

Canada tied with Sweden, three percentage points below Denmark, whose citizens are apparently the most satisfied with their current situation and prospects for the future. 

 Country  % thriving
 Denmark  72%
 Canada  69%
 Sweden  69%
 Australia  65%
 United States  59%
 United Kingdom  54%
 Germany  44%
 Italy  37%
 Spain  34%
 Russia  24%
 Greece  21%
 India  17%
 Libya  14%
 China  12%
 Zimbabwe  9%
 Haiti  2%
 Central African Republic  2%
 Chad  1%
  Source: Gallup well-being survey

People in the "thriving" category rate their current lives at seven or higher on a 10-point scale and rated their future lives eight or higher, Gallup says.

Only two per cent of Canadians were considered to be "suffering." People in this category rated their current life and future prospects at four or below.

Another 30 per cent of Canadians were considered to be "struggling" — somewhere between the two extremes, the poll indicated.

Gallup found a majority of respondents "thriving" in only 19 countries — most in Europe and the Americas.

The story was much less rosy in 67 other countries where fewer than a quarter of residents were thriving. In sub-Saharan Africa, the median thriving percentage was just eight per cent, with Chad coming in at the bottom with just one per cent of its respondents deemed to be thriving.

Gallup said its well-being survey suggests little progress was made from the previous year.

"Gallup's global well-being data underscore the diversity of development challenges worldwide," the polling company said on its website.

"As the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt showed earlier this year, leaders should not rely on GDP alone as an indicator of how well their countries and their citizens are doing."

The well-being survey results are based on interviews with about 1,000 adults carried out between February and December 2010 in each of 124 countries.