A new report released June 14 finds that Costa Rica and Vietnam are the ‘happiest' countries in the world based upon the health and happiness produced per unit of environmental output.
These findings come from the Happy Planet Index compiled by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) which ranks 151 countries around the world based upon their "efficiency [and] how many long and happy lives each [country] produces per unit of environmental output."
The Happy Planet Index rank is based upon global data of life expectancy, happiness and environmental sustainability and is calculated as follows (Experienced well-being X Life expectancy) / Ecological Footprint. The data for experienced well-being is taken from the Gallup World Poll, ‘life expectancy' is based upon the 2011 UNDP Human Development Report and ‘ecological footprint' is calculated from data provided by the WWF.( For a full breakdown on how the Happy Planet Index is calculated see : http://www.happyplanetindex.org/about/.)
Typically the report found that high-income countries, such as the UK (ranked 41st) and the US (ranked 105th), received a low overall score due to the large per-capita ecological footprint. Norway placed in 29th position, while Japan came in 45th
A video explaining the Happy Planet Index can be found on YouTube at:
According to the Happy Planet Index the top ten ‘happiest countries' are:
01. Costa Rica
05. El Salvador
(Full ranking is available at: http://www.happyplanetindex.org/data/)