Costa Rica Tops Happy Planet Index

Posted on July 5, 2009

Costa Rica has topped the Happy Planet Index (HPI). The HPI index combines environmental impact with human well-being. It's an attempt to measure each country's environmental efficiency, happiness and life expectancy. CNN reports that the HPI found Costa Ricans have the highest life satisfaction combined with the second-highest average life expectancy.
"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)," the organization said in a statement.

They "also have an ecological footprint that means that the country only narrowly fails to achieve the goal of ... consuming its fair share of the Earth's natural resources."

The Central American country, tucked between Nicaragua and Panama, touts its lush rain forests and pristine beaches. Its president, Oscar Arias Sanchez, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for trying to help end civil wars in several Central American countries.
Costa Rica was followed on the HPI by Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guatemala and Vietnam.
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