Sri Lanka 22nd happiest place to live -US 114th, UK 74th
Posted on August 14th, 2009

Just a subtle reminder to let you know that we are much better off than many other countries … so lets rally together and make it even better …

There is good news. Sri Lanka is the world’s 22nd happiest place on earth whilst Costa Rica is the best according to a new survey by a British non-governmental group.

The New Economics Foundation looked at 143 countries that are home to 99 percent of the world’s population and devised an equation that weighed life expectancy and people’s happiness against their environmental impact.

By that formula, Costa Rica is the happiest, greenest country in the world, whilst Sri Lanka was ranked at 22nd position in the global “Happy Planet Index,” (HPI).

In the Index (www.happyplanetindex.org ), launched ahead of the G8 summit this week, Costa Rica scored a high 89 points on the HPI whilst nine of the ten highest-scoring nations were also Latin American. Sri Lanka’s
score was ƒÆ’-¡ 56.5. Costa Rica has a peaceful reputation because it does not have an ƒÆ’-¡ army, and is also known for its protected ecological zones and national slogan “pure life.”

Countries such asƒÆ’-¡  US (ranked 114),ƒÆ’-¡  UK (74),ƒÆ’-¡  Singapore (49),ƒÆ’-¡  Switzerland (52) are ranked much below Sri Lanka. However countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Argentina, Bhutan, and China were ranked
higher than Sri Lanka. Zimbabwe was ranked at the bottom of the index. In terms of life expectancy Sri Lanka’s score was a high 75.6 while it scored poorly with regard to life satisfaction but gained ground with a
favourable rating on eco footprint.

No one country listed in the HPI has achieved all three goals of high life satisfaction, high life expectancy and one-planet living.ƒÆ’-¡  But the differences between nations show that it is possible to live long, happy lives with much smaller ecological footprints than the highest-consuming nations.

The report, “The Happy Planet Index 2.0: Why good lives don’t have to cost the earth,” provides the first ever analysis of trends over time for what are supposedly the world’s most developed nations, the Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“As the world faces the triple crunch of deep financial crisis, accelerating climate change and the looming peak in oil production we desperately need a new compass to guide us. Following the siren’s song of economic growth has delivered only marginal benefits to the World’s poorest whilst undermining the basis of their livelihoods. What’s more, it hasn’t notably improved the well-being of those who were already rich, or even
provided economic stability. Now we must use the Happy Planet Index to break the spell and chart a new course for a high well-being low-carbon economy before our high-consuming lifestyles plunge us into the chaos of irreversible climate change” says Nic Marks, founder of the centre for well-being at nef.

By stripping the economy back to its meaningful outputs (lives of varying length and happiness) and the ultimate inputs (the Earth’s finite resources) the HPI is the definitive efficiency measure. It provides a
clear guide to what ultimately matters to us – our well-being in terms of long, happy and meaningful lives – and what matters for the planet – our rate of resource consumption.

But the Index also provides clear signs of hope. Overall, the HPI reveals that the world is heading in the wrong direction, but nations that perform well on the Index provide valuable insights into how we could do things
differently:

Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world, have the second-highest average life expectancy of the New World (second only to Canada) and have an ecological footprint that means that the country only
narrowly fails to achieve the goal of ‘one-planet living’: consuming its fair share of the Earth’s natural resources.

The report sets out a ‘Happy Planet Charter’ calling for an unprecedented collective global effort to develop a new narrative of human progress, encourage good lives that don’t cost the Earth, and to reduce consumption
in the highest-consuming nations as the biggest barrier to sustainable well-being.

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