Costa Rica Leads in the "Happy Planet Index"

The New Economics Foundation's "Happy Planet Index" shows that Costa Ricans use fewer resources and lead happier lives than the rest of the world.
July 7, 2009, 1pm PDT | Michael Dudley
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The HPI shows that positive growth in traditional economic indicators are actually negatively associated with overall well-being. According to the HPI, the leading growing economies (including the US, which ranks 114th) were all "happier" 20 years ago.

"The HPI measures how much of the Earth's resources nations use and how long and happy a life their citizens enjoy as a result... Costa Ricans top the list because they report the highest life satisfaction in the world, they live slightly longer than Americans, yet have an ecological footprint that is less than a quarter the size. The country only narrowly fails to achieve the goal of what NEF calls 'one-planet living': consuming its fair share of the Earth's natural resources."

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Published on Saturday, July 4, 2009 in Guardian (UK)
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