Thursday, 9 July 2009

Human Happiness Index

In these times of recession, good news from NEF (the New Economics Foundation); there is no link between human happiness and more posessions. Their Happy Planet Index works out how well each country is using their environmental resources to deliver happiness and well-being to their people.

The Index doesn’t reveal the ‘happiest’ country in the world. It shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens. The nations that top the Index aren’t the happiest places in the world, but the nations that score well show that achieving, long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources is possible.

Top is Costa Rica, and, nine of the top 10 nations are in Latin America.
Saudi Arabia is 13th, China is 20th, India 35th.
Not a single European country made it into the top 50, Germany is highest at 51, Sweden 53, Italy 69.
The UK (74) just managed to beat that well-resourced and happy country known as Iraq (79).
Australia (102) beat New Zealand (103) and the USA (114) is no doubt breaking out the champagne for managing to triumph over Nigeria (115) by one whole place.
Not too surprisingly, Zimbabwe is languishing at the bottom (143).


Derek Wall said...

I must admit I was less impressed by this, I really would be pushed to think of a country with worse human rights than Saudi Arabia and Colombia is rather dodgy with peasants and indigenous kicked off of their land to make way for palm oil plantations

Saudi is the worlds number one oil is not going to get their on ecology.

I think NEF need to refine this index, it doesn't work well at present.

Adrian Windisch said...

I think it is partly to do with peoples expectations, in the USA they are shown daily the rich and famous lifestyles, so measure themselves against this.

However I think it does show that there is far more to happiness than wealth.