The Happiest Country on the Planet

According to the “Happy Planet Index,” Costa Rica is home to the most contented people on Earth.  In addition to happiness, the index also factors in ecological footprint and life expectancy. (( “Costa Rica Tops List of ‘Happiest’ Nations.” CNN.com World5 July 2009 Web.7 Jul 2009. <http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/07/05/costa.rica.happy.nation/index.html>. ))

Flickr Photo by B K
Top Ten Happy Nations

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Dominican Republic
  3. Jamaica
  4. Guatemala
  5. Vietnam
  6. Columbia Colombia
  7. Cuba
  8. El Salvador
  9. Brazil
  10. Honduras

Established by London-based New Economics Foundation, the index started evaluating countries in 2006, when the number one happy country was Vanuatu, followed closely by Columbia and Costa Rica.  In the 2009 listing, the top ten countries in the list are all in the Western Hemisphere and south of Mexico, except for Vietnam, which holds position five.  The are listed to the right.

The United Kingdom, which was 108 last year has advanced to 74.  Of the 29 bottom-of-the-list countries, all are in Africa except for Luxembourg (122), United Arab Emirates (123), and Kuwait (128).  Next to them, at number 30 from the bottom and 114 from the top is the United States. (( Wikipedia contributors, “Happy Planet Index.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 2009. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Web.7 Jul 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Happy_Planet_Index&oldid=300746294>. ))

Is this important?

Is this something we should pay attention to.

Is it, in any way, the responsibility of our education system,
to help our children,
our citizens,
to be happy?

Of course, if you don’t like bugs, then Costa Rica may not be the place for you.

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Author: David Warlick

David Warlick has been an educator for the past 40+ years. He continues to do some writing, but is mostly seeking his next intersect between play, passion and purpose, dabbling in photography, drone videography and music production.