Photo: Happy Planet Index
A new report published today finds the UK is less efficient than Jamaica and most Latin American nations at using environmental resources to create long and happy lives for its citizens.
The Happy Planet Index, compiled by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) ranks countries based on the health and happiness they produce per unit of environmental input, using global data on life expectancy, happiness and environmental sustainability.
Happy Planet Index is the leading global measure of sustainable well-being. The Happy Planet Charter has been endorsed by leading environmentalists, economists, and politicians ahead of next week’s United Nations Earth Summit.
The 2012 Happy Planet Index is topped by Costa Rica, Vietnam and Colombia – the countries that live the longest, happiest, most sustainable lives.
Costa Ricans have higher average life expectancy and well-being than people living in the United States and the country has a per capita Ecological Footprint one third the size of that of the US.
Of the nine countries closest to achieving happy, green lives, eight are in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Spain (62nd) and Greece (83rd) have both shown falls in their populations’ well-being scores during the economic downturn, according to Gallup World Poll data from between 2007 and 2010.