Costa Rica

Costa Rica ranked the best place to produce a happy life by Happy Planet Index!

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costa rica number 1 place to live on happy index


Get the facts: New HPI results show Costa Rica as the #1 place to live a happy lifestyle! Happy Planet Index ranks countries based on efficiency and how many long and happy lives each produces per unit of economical output. HPI results measure life expectancy, experienced well-being, and Ecological Footprint.
costa rica happy index chart

Why does Costa Rica lead the charts of happiest places to live?

Costa Rica does exceptionally well on HPI’s measure of experienced well-being. People are asked to rate how they feel about their lives overall on a scale of 1 to 10. Costa Rica places 13th in the world with an average of 7.3. Costa Rica’s life expectancy of 79 years sits at the top of the charts and continues to outrank USA. Juliet Michaelson of New Economics Foundations really summed up Costa Rica’s success well last year when she said “Good health and happiness combined are not enough to succeed on the HPI overall. What takes Costa Rica to the top of the chart is its per capita Ecological Footprint, which at 2.5 global hectares is a third of the size of the USA’s. This should not be surprising as the country has embraced sustainability: it produces 99 per cent of its energy from renewable sources, has reversed deforestation in the country, and, in 2008, committed itself to becoming carbon neutral by 2021. However, its Footprint is larger than it would need to be for it to live within its fair share of planetary resources. This is partly due to consumption patterns – the goods consumed by many in the country will have been produced in other countries that have less sustainable energy policies. It is clear that one country cannot achieve sustainability alone.
So like all the planet’s nations, Costa Rica has more work to do to reach the goal of truly sustainable well-being. But its success on the HPI demonstrates that there are alternatives to the development paths that have been followed in the West. It provides a shining example of a country genuinely committed to creating good lives that don’t cost the Earth.”

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