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Thus, NEF's list of happiest countries does not feature the usual suspects.

Thus, NEF's list of happiest countries does not feature the usual suspects.

The popular Abba single, “Money, money, money…must be funny in a rich man’s world” seems true for people from these countries. At least that is what one can deduce from New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index (HPI).

The latest HPI results show how these countries produce long, happy and sustainable lives for their people. The overall index scores rates countries based on their efficiency, how many long and happy lives each produces per unit of environmental output.

Each of the three component measures – life expectancy, experienced well-being and ecological footprint. Also, the overall ranking is not based on GNP and growth figures, but purely on environmental factors.

 

A boy jumps into the Llanos del Cortes waterfall in Bagaces, Costa Rica

A boy jumps into the Llanos del Cortes waterfall in Bagaces, Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Ranking: 1

Happy Planet Index score: 60.4 ,2009 HPI Rank: 5

Experienced Well-Being: 5.8, Life Expectancy: 75.2

Ecological Footprint: 1.4,GDP Per Capita: $3,205

Population: 86.9 million

 

A Hmong woman displays traditional costumes for sale at the Vietnamese cultural village of Dong Mo, outside Hanoi

A Hmong woman displays traditional costumes for sale at the Vietnamese cultural village of Dong Mo, outside Hanoi

Vietnam

Ranking: 2

Happy Planet Index score: 60.4 2009 ,  HPI Rank: 5

Experienced Well-Being: 5.8 , Life Expectancy: 75.2

Ecological Footprint: 1.4 ,GDP Per Capita: $3,205

Population: 86.9 million

 

Flamingos fly over a reserve near the town of Manaure, Guajira province, Colombia

Flamingos fly over a reserve near the town of Manaure, Guajira province, Colombia

Colombia

Ranking: 3

Happy Planet Index score: 59.8 , 2009 HPI Rank: 6

Experienced Well-Being: 6.4 , Life Expectancy: 73.7

Ecological Footprint: 1.8 , GDP Per Capita: $9,453

Population: 46.3 million

 

Britain's Prince Harry dances at a street party in Belmopan, Belize

Britain's Prince Harry dances at a street party in Belmopan, Belize

Belize

Ranking: 4

Happy Planet Index score: 59.3 , 2009 HPI Rank: 27

Experienced Well-Being: 6.5  , Life Expectancy: 76.1

Ecological Footprint: 2.1 , GDP Per Capita: $6,670

Population: 345,000

 

El Salvador

El Salvador

El Salvador

Ranking: 5

Happy Planet Index score: 58.9 , 2009 HPI Rank: 8

Experienced Well-Being: 6.7 , Life Expectancy: 72.2

Ecological Footprint: 2 , GDP Per Capita: $6,668

Population: 6.2 million

 

A Jamaican child plays at Hellshire beach in Kingston
A Jamaican child plays at Hellshire beach in Kingston

Jamaica

Ranking: 6

Happy Planet Index score: 58.5 , 2009 HPI Rank: 3

Experienced Well-Being: 6.2 , Life Expectancy: 73.1

Ecological Footprint: 1.7 , GDP Per Capita: $7,673

Population: 2.7 million

 

Panama

Panama

Panama

Ranking: 7

Happy Planet Index score: 57.8 , 2009 HPI Rank: 18

Experienced Well-Being: 7.3 , Life Expectancy: 76.1

Ecological Footprint: 3 , GDP Per Capita: $13,608

Population: 3.5 million

 

Managua's Tiscapa Lagoon in Nicaragua

Managua's Tiscapa Lagoon in Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Ranking: 8

Happy Planet Index score: 57.1 , 2009 HPI Rank: 11

Experienced Well-Being: 5.7 , Life Expectancy: 74

Ecological Footprint: 1.6 , GDP Per Capita: $2,913

Population: 5.8 million

 

Venezuelan soccer fans

Venezuelan soccer fans

Venezuela

Ranking: 9

Happy Planet Index score: 56.9 , 2009 HPI Rank: 36

Experienced Well-Being: 7.5 , Life Expectancy: 74.4

Ecological Footprint: 3.0 , GDP Per Capita: $12,233

Population: 28.8 million

 

Calle Santander tourist street in Panajachel, Guatemala

Calle Santander tourist street in Panajachel, Guatemala

Guatemala

Ranking: 10

Happy Planet Index score: 56.9 , 2009 HPI Rank: 4

Experienced Well-Being: 6.3 , Life Expectancy: 71.2

Ecological Footprint: 1.8 , GDP Per Capita: $4,785

Population: 14.4 million

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