Costa Ricans have been nominated the world’s happiest, longest living and most environmentally friendly citizens according to the “Happy Planet Index” report released on Saturday by an independent research group in Britain.
With a focus on building a new economy “centered on people and the environment”, 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.
This second global Happy Planet Index ranking showed that Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world and have the second-highest average life expectancy of the new world (second to Canada). In addition, the country has an ecological footprint that means that they only narrowly fail to achieve the goal of ‘one-planet living’, consuming its fair share of the Earth’s natural resources.
Nine of the top ten spots in the survey were allocated to Latin American nations this year. The runner-up was the Dominican Republic, followed by Jamaica, Guatemala and Vietnam. Most developed nations lagged way behind in the study, with Britain ranked 74th, and United States taking the 114th spot, because of its massive consumption and ecological footprint.
‘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,’ said Nic Marks, founder of the foundation’s center for well-being.
Marks urged nations to make a collective global change before “our high-consuming lifestyles plunge us into the chaos of irreversible climate change.”