According to the Happy Planet Index published this year by the London-based New Economics Foundation, Venezuela is the ninth happiest country in the world. At the top of the list are Costa Rica, Vietnam and Colombia.
According to the executive summary of the report, the Happy Planet Index measures sustainable wellbeing, or “how well nations are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now” as well as in the future, taking into account environmental impacts. Nine of the ten happiest countries are located in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Following Costa Rica, Vietnam and Colombia on the list are Belize, Jamaica, El Salvador Panama, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Guatemala. The United States is ranked 105th, while Norway is 29th, the highest among European countries. Spain is ranked 62nd, Haiti 78th, and Botswana is last in the 151st spot.
According to the report, the Happy Planet Index determines “which countries are most efficient at producing long, happy lives for their inhabitants, whilst maintaining the conditions for future generations to do the same.”
The New Economics Foundation makes its calculations based on three factors: experienced well-being, life expectancy and ecological footprint.
The executive summary states: “this is largely still an unhappy planet – with both high- and low-income countries facing many challenges… But it also demonstrates that good lives do not have to cost the Earth.”
Similar findings were included in the World Happiness Report published by Columbia University and the United Nations in May of 2012. That report placed Venezuela 19th among the world’s happiest countries and second in the region after Costa Rica.
Another poll issued last year by Gallup found that Venezuela is the fifth happiest country in the world, with 64 percent of inhabitants reporting that they are “thriving.”
Correo del Orinoco / Press – Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / October 24, 2012