Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Happy Planet Index : 2012 Report

Source: New Economics Foundation (UK)

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) measures what matters. It tells us how well nations are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now, while ensuring that others can do the same in the future, i.e. sustainable well-being for all.

The third global HPI report reveals that this is largely still an unhappy planet – with both high- and low-income countries facing many challenges on their way to meeting this same overall goal. But it also demonstrates that good lives do not have to cost the Earth – that the countries where well-being is highest are not always the ones that have the biggest environmental impact.

The HPI is one of the first global measures of sustainable well-being. It uses global data on experienced well-being, life expectancy, and Ecological Footprint to generate an index revealing which countries are most efficient at producing long, happy lives for their inhabitants, whilst maintaining the conditions for future generations to do the same....

At heart, the HPI is a measure of efficiency. It calculates the number of Happy Life Years (life expectancy adjusted for experienced well-being) achieved per unit of resource use.

This year’s results:

Confirm that we are still not living on a happy planet, with no country achieving high and sustainable well-being and only nine close to doing so.

Highlight that eight of those nine countries are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Show the highest ranking Western European nation to be Norway in 29th place,just behind New Zealand in 28th place.

Place the USA in 105th position out of 151 countries.

Demonstrate how the scores of high-income countries are brought down considerably by their large Ecological Footprints.

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