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Costa Rica Tops the Happy Planet Index 2012

Costa Rica made the number one spot for another year on the Happy Planet Index, beating out the United States and Western European Nations for the title of the planet's most content.  This is the second time that Costa Rica has earned the top ranking on the Happy Planet Index, published by the New Economics Foundation, a British research center that promotes global well-being and sustainable development.

 The Happy Planet Index results demonstrate the extent to which 151 countries across the globe produce long, happy and sustainable lives for their citizens. The overall index scores rank countries based on their efficiency, how many long and happy lives each produces per unit of environmental output.

tamarindo-surf-girlRanking is based on three component measures – Life Expectancy, Experienced Well-Being and Ecological Footprint.  Each component measure is given a traffic-light scores based on thresholds for good (green), middling (amber) and bad (red) performance. These scores are combined to an expanded six-colour traffic light for the overall Happy Planet Index score, where, to achieve bright green – the best of the six colours, a country would have to perform well on all three individual components.  Costa Rica scored an impressive 64.

The scores for the Happy Planet Index and the component measures can be viewed in map or table-form on the Happy Planet Index website.