Researchers have been discovering patterns both individually and across cultures when measuring happinesss around the world.

Author: Gilly Wright, Valentina Pasquali
Project Coordinator: Denise Bedell, S.J. Yun

Next Page: Life Satisfaction

The concept of "Quality of Life" is much discussed by academics in the field. "What constitutes a “good life” has occupied leading philosophers since Aristotle, and dozens of definitions of the “good life” are discussed in the literature," according to the 2009 Report of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress chaired by Nobel Prize-winning economists Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz and Professor Amartya Sen, and by Professor Jean-Paul Fitoussi. See an abstract here.

HAPPY PLANET INDEX RANKINGS

These results show the extent to which 151 countries across the globe produce long, happy and sustainable lives for the people that live in them.  The overall index scores rank countries based on their life expectancy, experienced well-being and Ecological Footprint.

o Ecological footprint (the amount of land needed to provide for all their resource requirements plus the amount of vegetated land needed to absorb all their CO2 emissions and the CO2 emissions embodied in the products they consume;)

o Life satisfaction (health as well as “subjective well-being” components such as a sense of individual vitality, opportunities to undertake meaningful, engaging activities, inner resources that help one cope when things go wrong, close relationships with friends and family, belonging to a wider community;)

o Life expectancy.

Index Key

Experienced Well-being

Life expectancy

Ecological Footprint

Good More than 6.2 Good More than 75 Good Less than 1.78
(equal to the
world's biocapacity)
Middling Between 4.8 & 6.2 Middling Between 60 & 75 Middling Between 1.78 & 3.56
Poor Less than 4.8 Poor Less than 60 Poor Between 3.56 & 7.12

THE HAPPIEST COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD

HPI Rank

Country

Life
Expectancy

Well-being
(0-10)

Footprint
(gha/capita)

Happy Planet Index

1 Costa Rica 79.3 7.3 2.5 64.0
2 Vietnam 75.2 5.8 1.4 60.4
3 Colombia 73.7 6.4 1.8 59.8
4 Belize 76.1 6.5 2.1 59.3
5 El Salvador 72.2 6.7 2.0 58.9
6 Jamaica 73.1 6.2 1.7 58.5
7 Panama 76.1 7.3 3.0 57.8
8 Nicaragua 74.0 5.7 1.6 57.1
9 Venezuela 74.4 7.5 3.0 56.9
10 Guatemala 71.2 6.3 1.8 56.9
11 Bangladesh 68.9 5.0 0.7 56.3
12 Cuba 79.1 5.4 1.9 56.2
13 Honduras 73.1 5.9 1.7 56.0
14 Indonesia 69.4 5.5 1.1 55.5
15 Israel 81.6 7.4 4.0 55.2
16 Pakistan 65.4 5.3 0.8 54.1
17 Argentina 75.9 6.4 2.7 54.1
18 Albania 76.9 5.3 1.8 54.1
19 Chile 79.1 6.6 3.2 53.9
20 Thailand 74.1 6.2 2.4 53.5
21 Brazil 73.5 6.8 2.9 52.9
22 Mexico 77.0 6.8 3.3 52.9
23 Ecuador 75.6 5.8 2.4 52.5
24 Peru 74.0 5.6 2.0 52.4
25 Philippines 68.7 4.9 1.0 52.4
26 Algeria 73.1 5.2 1.6 52.2
27 Jordan 73.4 5.7 2.1 51.7
28 New Zealand 80.7 7.2 4.3 51.6
29 Norway 81.1 7.6 4.8 51.4
30 Palestine 72.8 4.8 1.4 51.2
31 Guyana 69.9 6.0 2.1 51.2
32 India 65.4 5.0 0.9 50.9
33 Dominican Republic 73.4 4.7 1.4 50.7
34 Switzerland 82.3 7.5 5.0 50.3
35 Sri Lanka 74.9 4.2 1.2 49.4
36 Iraq 69.0 5.0 1.4 49.2
37 Laos 67.5 5.0 1.3 49.1
38 Kyrgyzstan 67.7 5.0 1.3 49.1
39 Tunisia 74.5 4.7 1.8 48.3
40 Moldova 69.3 5.6 2.1 48.0
41 United Kingdom 80.2 7.0 4.7 47.9
42 Morocco 72.2 4.4 1.3 47.9
43 Tajikistan 67.5 4.4 0.9 47.8
44 Turkey 74.0 5.5 2.6 47.6
45 Japan 83.4 6.1 4.2 47.5
46 Germany 80.4 6.7 4.6 47.2
47 Syria 75.9 4.1 1.5 47.1
48 Austria 80.9 7.3 5.3 47.1
49 Madagascar 66.7 4.6 1.2 46.8
50 France 81.5 6.8 4.9 46.5
51 Italy 81.9 6.4 4.5 46.4
52 Sweden 81.4 7.5 5.7 46.2
53 Armenia 74.2 4.4 1.7 46.0
54 Uzbekistan 68.3 5.1 1.8 46.0
55 Georgia 73.7 4.1 1.4 46.0
56 Saudi Arabia 73.9 6.7 4.0 46.0
57 Paraguay 72.5 5.8 3.0 45.8
58 Nepal 68.8 3.8 0.8 45.6
59 Cyprus 79.6 6.4 4.4 45.5
60 China 73.5 4.7 2.1 44.7
61 Myanmar 65.2 5.3 1.9 44.2
62 Spain 81.4 6.2 4.7 44.1
63 Korea 80.6 6.1 4.6 43.8
64 Bolivia 66.6 5.8 2.6 43.6
65 Canada 81.0 7.7 6.4 43.6
66 Malta 79.6 5.8 4.3 43.1
67 Netherlands 80.7 7.5 6.3 43.1
68 Yemen 65.5 3.9 0.9 43.0
69 Lebanon 72.6 5.2 2.8 42.9
70 Finland 80.0 7.4 6.2 42.7
71 Poland 76.1 5.8 3.9 42.6
72 Malawi 54.2 5.1 0.8 42.5
73 Ireland 80.6 7.3 6.2 42.4
74 Bosnia and Herzegovina 75.7 4.7 2.7 42.4
75 Romania 74.0 4.9 2.8 42.2
76 Australia 81.9 7.4 6.7 42.0
77 Iran 73.0 4.8 2.7 41.7
78 Haiti 62.1 3.8 0.6 41.3
79 Serbia 74.5 4.5 2.6 41.3
80 Azerbaijan 70.7 4.2 2.0 40.9
81 Libya 74.8 4.9 3.2 40.8
82 Croatia 76.6 5.6 4.2 40.6
83 Greece 79.9 5.8 4.9 40.5
84 Malaysia 74.2 5.6 3.9 40.5
85 Cambodia 63.1 4.2 1.2 40.3
86 Ghana 64.2 4.6 1.7 40.3
87 Slovenia 79.3 6.1 5.2 40.2
88 Iceland 81.8 6.9 6.5 40.2
89 Slovakia 75.4 6.1 4.7 40.1
90 Singapore 81.1 6.5 6.1 39.8
91 Egypt 73.2 3.9 2.1 39.6
92 Czech Republic 77.7 6.2 5.3 39.4
93 Uruguay 77.0 6.1 5.1 39.3
94 Ethiopia 59.3 4.4 1.1 39.2
95 Turkmenistan 65.0 6.6 4.0 39.1
96 Namibia 62.5 4.9 2.0 38.9
97 Portugal 79.5 4.9 4.1 38.7
98 Kenya 57.1 4.3 0.9 38.0
99 Zambia 49.0 5.3 0.8 37.7
100 Ukraine 68.5 5.1 3.2 37.6
101 Sudan 61.5 4.4 1.6 37.6
102 Hong Kong 82.8 5.6 5.8 37.5
103 Belarus 70.3 5.5 4.0 37.4
104 Hungary 74.4 4.7 3.6 37.4
105 United States of America 78.5 7.2 7.2 37.3
106 Djibouti 57.9 5.0 1.8 37.2
107 Belgium 80.0 6.9 7.1 37.1
108 Rwanda 55.4 4.0 0.7 36.9
109 Afghanistan 48.7 4.8 0.5 36.8
110 Denmark 78.8 7.8 8.3 36.6
111 Mauritius 73.4 5.5 4.6 36.6
112 Comoros 61.1 3.9 1.3 36.5
113 Cote d'Ivoire 55.4 4.2 1.0 35.9
114 Mozambique 50.2 4.7 0.8 35.7
115 Zimbabwe 51.4 4.8 1.2 35.3
116 Liberia 56.8 4.2 1.3 35.2
117 Estonia 74.8 5.1 4.7 34.9
118 Latvia 73.3 4.7 4.0 34.9
119 Kazakhstan 67.0 5.5 4.1 34.7
120 Lithuania 72.2 5.1 4.4 34.6
121 Congo 57.4 3.8 1.1 34.5
122 Russia 68.8 5.5 4.4 34.5
123 Bulgaria 73.4 4.2 3.6 34.1
124 Cameroon 51.6 4.4 1.1 33.7
125 Nigeria 51.9 4.8 1.4 33.6
126 Senegal 59.3 3.8 1.5 33.3
127 Angola 51.1 4.2 0.9 33.2
128 Mauritania 58.6 5.0 2.9 32.3
129 Burkina Faso 55.4 4.0 1.5 31.8
130 United Arab Emirates 76.5 7.2 8.9 31.8
131 Uganda 54.1 4.2 1.6 31.5
132 Benin 56.1 3.7 1.4 31.1
133 Tanzania 58.2 3.2 1.2 30.7
134 Congo, Dem. Rep. of the 48.4 4.0 0.8 30.5
135 Burundi 50.4 3.8 0.8 30.5
136 Trinidad and Tobago 70.1 6.7 7.6 30.3
137 Guinea 54.1 4.0 1.7 30.0
138 Luxembourg 80.0 7.1 10.7 29.0
139 Sierra Leone 47.8 4.1 1.1 28.8
140 Macedonia 74.8 4.2 5.4 28.3
141 Togo 57.1 2.8 1.0 28.2
142 South Africa 52.8 4.7 2.6 28.2
143 Kuwait 74.6 6.6 9.7 27.1
144 Niger 54.7 4.1 2.6 26.8
145 Mongolia 68.5 4.6 5.5 26.8
146 Bahrain 75.1 4.5 6.6 26.6
147 Mali 51.4 3.8 1.9 26.0
148 Central African Republic 48.4 3.6 1.4 25.3
149 Qatar 78.4 6.6 11.7 25.2
150 Chad 49.6 3.7 1.9 24.7
151 Botswana 53.2 3.6 2.8 22.6

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