ARE we a happy planet? No we’re not, according to the latest Happy Planet report, issued by the Centre for Wellbeing (part of the New Economics Foundation www.neweconomics.org).
The report – the first to combine environmental impact with well-being – says that no country has achieved high and sustainable wellbeing. Nine are close though, eight of them in Latin America and the Caribbean.
What’s interesting is that only four of the top forty countries have a GDP per capita of over $15,000. The scores of high income countries are brought down by their ecological footprints.
Costa Rica topped the table with a life expectancy of 79.3 years and the country produces 90% of its energy from sustainable sources. The US was close to the bottom in 105th place out of 151 countries and the UK was at 41 behind Moldova at 40.
As usual with this kind of survey, Norway beat all the other European countries, but was still only in 29th place. It just shows you that paying truly awesome amounts of money for drinks does not necessarily cast a country into a gloom.