If you’re looking for happy (and green), skip Disneyland and head straight for Costa Rica. That’s the word according to the New Economic Foundation, a British NGO that just released their latest Happy Planet Index.
The Happy Planet Index is determined by calculating the life expectancy and people’s happiness against their environmental impact in 143 countries that are home to 99 percent of the world’s population.
Costa Rica, a nation without an army, scored best with an average life expectancy of 78.5 years, a very “small ecological footprint” and 85% of the country’s population saying they were happy and satisfied with their lives.
In fact, the Latin American countries topped the list. This region occupied the nine of the top 10 spots (Australia was third). Britain came in at 74th and the United States lagged way behind at 114th. Interestingly, the report said that the United States was actually greener and happier 20 years ago than it is today.
Maybe there’s something to the old saying “money doesn’t buy happiness” after all.
Read the full Happy Planet Index report.