Tuesday, June 7, 2011


With several non-profit organizations around the globe releasing its polls and surveys of which nations in the world are the happiest, we are more or less, confused, which survey tells the most accurate result.

Now, here's one organization which follows a different principle and measurement index how happy and contented one nation is, the Happy Planet Index, which measures happiness based on life satisfaction, life expectancy and ecological footprint. It is the first index to measure and quantify the environmental impact to well-being in a given country. HPI slowly gained popularity in recent years as having one of the most credible measurements of happiness because of its focus to give more importance on well-being. And it became more  popular when British Prime Minister, David Cameron, officially asked the Office of National Statistics in the UK to collect data on well-being to be considered in drafting future government policies.

True enough, wealth is not the only reason of happiness, there's more into it. In fact, people in the third world countries, especially those living in the hinterland, appear to have the happiest disposition compared to  people with lots of money and properties, maybe because they have less stuff to worry in great contrast to the world's richest.

Happy Planet Index is founded in 2006 by the National Economic Foundation. Its data summary tells the very core of what happiness index is all about "In an age of uncertainty, society globally needs a new compass to set it on the path of real progress. The HPI provides that compass by measuring what truly matters to us, our well-being in terms of happy, long and meaningful lives and what matters to the planet--our rate of resource consumption" (source: www.happyplanetindex.org).
Philippines. One of the Third World countries that managed to top the list of HPI

Here are the nations in the world which made it to the Top 15 list of HPI as the happiest countries in terms of environmental impact to well-being.

1. Costa Rica
2. Dominican Republic
3. Jamaica
4. Guatemala
5. Vietnam
6. Columbia
7. Cuba
8. El Salvador
9. Brazil
10. Honduras
11. Nicaragua
12. Egypt
13. Saudi Arabia
14. Philippines
15. Argentina

The list shows that middle-income countries (which might have some issues on political and economic affairs) like the Latin America and the Philippines, seem to have a higher capacity in achieving sustainable well-being than the rich nations. Developed nations have poor standing and might have a long way to work on its well-being and environmental issues.

Source: www.happyplanetindex.org

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