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Happy Planet Index

The Happy Planet Index aims to measure well-being and happiness by taking a universal and long-term approach to understanding, how efficiently people in a country are using the environmental resources to live long and happy lives. The indicators that are used for calculating the HPI score cover life-satisfaction, life expectancy, inequality of outcomes and the ecological footprint.
When taking these notions into account, the rich industrialised countries score much worse in achieving sustainable well-being for all. Of the 140 countries included in the HPI, Luxembourg is the most extreme example for a wealthy nation scoring very badly: The country does well on life expectancy and well-being, and also has low inequality, but sustains this lifestyle with the largest ecological footprint per capita of any country in the world. Amongst the positive stories is Costa Rica, which is also highlighted in the map. The country has persistently scored highest in all HPI releases (the 2016 edition is the third, after 2009 and 2012). More of a surprise might be the high score for Mexico (2nd), which is credited to massive efforts into improving health and environmental sustainability.
Read more about this map in our blog

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Technical Notes

This map shows the land surface resized by its population with each country’s Happy Planet Index score value superimposed. Each transformed grid cell in the map is proportional to the total number of people living in that area. The Happy Planet Index shows how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.

Data sources
This map uses population estimates for the year 2020 based on data from the Gridded Population of the World (GPW), v4 at 0.25 degree resolution, released by SEDAC (Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center). The map overlay uses data of the Happy Planet Index 2016 report published by the New Economics Foundation (accessed June 2018).

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