The 2012 Happy Planet Index is now available

Costa Rica and Vietnam: the happiest countries? 

Yes, according to the Happy Planet Index, a global measure of sustainable well-being created by Nic Marks, founder of the Centre for Well-being.

Unlike many measures of national progress, The Happy Planet Index does not rank countries according to economic wealth alone. Instead, it uses global data on life expectancy, experienced well-being, and ecological footprints to assess 151 countries from around the world. The 2012 report is the third time the index has been published.

“Countries like Costa Rica outrank the UK in the Happy Planet Index because their inhabitants live long and happy lives using a fraction of the planet’s resources,” says Saamah Abdallah, senior researcher at The New Economics Foundation. Felicia Huppert, professor for University of Cambridge’s Well-being Institute, says the findings challenge us to think creatively about how to optimize good lives in a way that is fair and sustainable.

To explore the 2012 Happy Planet Index, click here. You can also watch Nic Marks’s Ted Talk (2010) about the Happy Planet Index below:
Still want more? Read Stumbling on Happiness, and see our coverage of the UN’s first Word Happiness Report as well.