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Encyclopedia > Happy Planet Index
Happy Planet Index, highest rank to lowest rank .

The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is an index of human well-being and environmental impact, introduced by the New Economics Foundation (NEF), in July 2006. The index is designed to challenge well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI), which are seen as not taking sustainability into account. In particular, GDP is seen as inappropriate, as the ultimate aim of most people is not to be rich, but to be happy and healthy,[1] and it is critical to understand what effect the pursuit of those goals has on the environment.[2] Look up Index in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The New Economics Foundation is a British think-tank, or, in their own description, a think-and-do tank. The groups goal is to promote their progressive view of welfare economics and environmentalism. ... GDP redirects here. ... The Earth Day flag includes a NASA photo. ...

Contents

Outline

The HPI is based on general utilitarian principles — that most people want to live long and fulfilling lives, and the country which is doing the best is the one that allows its citizens to do so, whilst avoiding infringing on the opportunity of future people and people in other countries to do the same. In effect it operationalises the IUCN's (World Conservation Union) call for a metric capable of measuring 'the production of human well-being (not necessarily material goods) per unit of extraction of or imposition upon nature'.[3] Human well-being is operationalised as Happy Life Years.[4] Extraction of or imposition upon nature is proxied for using the ecological footprint per capita, which attempts to estimate the amount of natural resources required to sustain a given country's lifestyle. A country with a large per capita ecological footprint uses more than its fair share of resources, both by drawing resources from other countries, but also by causing permanent damage to the planet which will impact future generations.[5] Utilitarianism is a suggested theoretical framework for morality, law and politics, based on quantitative maximisation of some definition of utility for society or humanity. ... A concept developed by the Dutch Sociologist Ruut Veenhoven[1], this is a proxy measure of well-being combining subjective data (subjective life satisfaction, measured on a scale of 0 to 10) and objective data (life expectancy). ...


As such, the HPI is not a measure of which are the happiest countries in the world. Countries with relatively high levels of life satisfaction, as measured in surveys, are found from the very top (Colombia in 2nd place) to the very bottom (the USA in 150th place) of the rank order. The HPI is best conceived as a measure of the environmental efficiency of supporting well-being in a given country. Such efficiency could emerge in a country with a medium environmental impact (e.g. Costa Rica) and very high well-being (e.g. Panama), but it could also emerge in a country with only mediocre well-being, but very low environmental impact (e.g. Vietnam). Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized...


Each country’s HPI value is a function of its average subjective life satisfaction, life expectancy at birth, and ecological footprint per capita. The exact function is a little more complex, but conceptually it approximates multiplying life satisfaction and life expectancy, and dividing that by the ecological footprint. Most of the life satisfaction data is taken from the World Values Survey, but some is drawn from other surveys, and some is estimated using statistical regression techniques. Subjective life satisfaction is a measure of an individuals perceived level of well-being. ... This article is about the measure of remaining life. ... The World Values Survey is an academic project by social scientists to assess the state of sociocultural and political values of different cultures around the world. ... Generally, regression is related to moving backwards, and the opposite of progression. ...


The best scoring country in 2006 is the island state of Vanuatu, followed by Colombia and Costa Rica, while Burundi, Swaziland and Zimbabwe form the bottom of the list.


Views

Green = Happiest > Blue > Purple > Orange > Red = Least Happy; Grey = Data not available The Satisfaction with Life Index shows life satisfaction scores from the HPI without adjusting for ecological footprint and life expectancy.

Much criticism of the index has been due to commentators falsely understanding it to be a measure of happiness, when it is in fact a measure of the ecological efficiency of supporting well-being (see, for example, the following blogs in Heavy Lifting[6] and Spiked[7]). Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 351 pixelsFull resolution (1425 × 625 pixel, file size: 61 KB, MIME type: image/png) English: Satisfaction with Life Index Map Map coloured according to The World Map of Happiness, Adrian White, Analytic Social Psychologist, University of Leicester. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 351 pixelsFull resolution (1425 × 625 pixel, file size: 61 KB, MIME type: image/png) English: Satisfaction with Life Index Map Map coloured according to The World Map of Happiness, Adrian White, Analytic Social Psychologist, University of Leicester. ... Green = Happiest > Blue > Purple > Orange > Red = Least Happy; Grey = Data not available The Satisfaction with Life Index was created by Adrian White, an Analytic Social Psychologist at the University of Leicester. ... Spiked is a British Internet magazine focusing on politics, culture and society. ...


Aside from that, criticism has focussed on the following:

  • That the World Values Survey covers only a minority of the world's nations and is only done every five years. As a result, much of the data for the index must come from other sources, or is estimated using regressions.
  • General suspicion of subjective measures of well-being.[8]
  • That the Ecological Footprint is a controversial concept with many criticisms.[9]

Nevertheless, the HPI and its subcomponents have been considered in political circles. The Ecological Footprint, championed by the WWF, is widely used by both local and national governments, as well as supranational organisations such as the European Commission. The HPI itself was recently cited in the British Conservative Party as a possible substitute for GDP, [10] . A recent review of progress indicators produced by the European Parliament[11], lists the following pros and cons to using the HPI as a measure of national progress: The World Values Survey is an academic project by social scientists to assess the state of sociocultural and political values of different cultures around the world. ... Ecological footprint (EF) analysis is a measure of human demand on the Earths ecosystems and natural resources. ... The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization for the conservation, research and restoration of the natural environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in the United States and Canada. ... Berlaymont, the Commissions seat The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive branch of the European Union. ... The Conservative Party, officially though less commonly known as the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a political party in the United Kingdom. ... GDP is an acronym which can stand for more than one thing: (in economics) an abbreviation for Gross Domestic Product. ... Established 1952, as the Common Assembly President Hans-Gert Pöttering (EPP) Since 16 January 2007 Vice-Presidents 14 Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou (EPP) Alejo Vidal-Quadras (EPP) Gérard Onesta (Greens – EFA) Edward McMillan-Scott (ED) Mario Mauro (EPP) Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez (PES) Luigi Cocilovo (ALDE) Mechtild...


Pros:

  • Considers the actual ‘ends’ of economic activity in the form of life satisfaction and longevity
  • Combines wellbeing and environmental aspects
  • Simple and easily understandable scheme for calculating the index
  • Comparability of results (‘EF’ and ‘life expectancy’ can be applied to different countries)
  • Data online available, although some data gaps remain
  • Mixture of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ criteria; takes into account people’s well-being and resource use of countries

Cons:

  • ‘Happiness’ or ‘life satisfaction’ are very subjective and personal: cultural influences and complex impact of policies on happiness
  • Confusion of name: index is not a measure of happiness but rather measure of environmental efficiency of supporting well-being in a given country

International Ranking

Rank Country HPI Rank Country HPI
1 Vanuatu 68.21 90 The Gambia 42.46
2 Colombia 67.24 91 Cambodia 42.15
3 Costa Rica 66.00 92 Albania 42.13
4 Dominica 64.55 93 Jordan 42.05
5 Panama 63.54 94 New Zealand 41.92
6 Cuba 61.86 95 Japan 41.70
7 Honduras 61.75 96 Republic of the Congo 41.59
8 Guatemala 61.69 97 Egypt 41.58
9 El Salvador 61.66 98 Turkey 41.40
10 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 61.37 99 Denmark 41.40
11 Saint Lucia 61.31 100 Brunei 41.16
12 Vietnam 61.23 101 Georgia 41.15
13 Bhutan 61.08 102 South Korea 41.11
14 Samoa 60.98 103 Bosnia and Herzegovina 40.96
15 Sri Lanka 60.31 104 Senegal 40.81
16 Antigua and Barbuda 59.23 105 Azerbaijan 40.69
17 Philippines 59.17 106 Gabon 40.52
18 Nicaragua 59.09 107 Libya 40.33
19 Kyrgyzstan 59.05 108 United Kingdom 40.29
20 Solomon Islands 58.93 109 Laos 40.26
21 Tunisia 58.92 110 Benin 40.10
22 Sao Tome and Principe 57.92 111 Canada 39.76
23 Indonesia 57.90 112 Pakistan 39.40
24 Tonga 57.90 113  Ireland 39.38
25 Tajikistan 57.66 114 Poland 39.29
26 Venezuela 57.55 115 Norway 39.18
27 Dominican Republic 57.14 116 Republic of Macedonia 39.14
28 Guyana 56.65 117 Israel 39.07
29 Saint Kitts and Nevis 56.14 118 Namibia 38.41
30 Seychelles 56.07 119 Sweden 38.17
31 China 55.99 120 Romania 37.72
32 Thailand 55.39 121 Hungary 37.64
33 Peru 55.14 122 Guinea 37.42
34 Suriname 55.03 123 Finland 37.36
35 Yemen 55.00 124 Mauritania 37.30
36 Fiji 54.47 125 Kazakhstan 36.92
37 Morocco 54.43 126 Togo 36.86
38 Mexico 54.39 127 Kenya 36.70
39 Maldives 53.52 128 Czech Republic 36.59
40 Malta 53.26 129 France 36.42
41 Bangladesh 53.20 130 Armenia 36.15
42 Comoros 52.92 131 Singapore 36.14
43 Barbados 52.73 132 Slovakia 35.81
44 Malaysia 52.69 133 Greece 35.71
45 Palestinian Authority 52.64 134 Tanzania 35.08
46 Cape Verde 52.41 135 Guinea-Bissau 35.08
47 Chile 52.20 136 Portugal 34.83
48 Timor-Leste 52.04 137 Eritrea 34.49
49 Argentina 51.96 138 Bahrain 34.35
50 Trinidad and Tobago 51.87 139 Australia 34.06
51 Belize 51.32 140 Mali 33.68
52 Paraguay 51.13 141 Mozambique 33.01
53 Jamaica 51.01 142 Cameroon 32.76
54 Nepal 49.95 143 Djibouti 32.72
55 Mauritius 49.65 144 Ethiopia 32.53
56 Mongolia 49.59 145 Bulgaria 31.59
57 Uruguay 49.31 146 Nigeria 31.14
58 Ecuador 49.29 147 Moldova 31.12
59 Uzbekistan 49.22 148 Burkina Faso 30.08
60 Grenada 48.96 149 Lithuania 29.29
61 Austria 48.77 150 United States of America 28.83
62 India 48.67 151 Cote d'Ivoire 28.80
63 Brazil 48.59 152 Rwanda 28.35
64 Iceland 48.35 153 Sierra Leone 28.24
65 Switzerland 48.30 154 United Arab Emirates 28.20
66 Italy 48.26 155 Angola 27.88
67 Iran 47.23 156 South Africa 27.80
68 Ghana 46.98 157 Sudan 27.74
69 Bolivia 46.17 158 Uganda 27.68
70 Netherlands 46.00 159 Kuwait 27.67
71 Madagascar 45.99 160 Latvia 27.27
72 Cyprus 45.99 161 Niger 26.80
73 Algeria 45.89 162 Malawi 26.66
74 Luxembourg 45.62 163 Zambia 25.91
75 Bahamas 44.90 164 Central African Republic 25.90
76 Papua New Guinea 44.75 165 Belarus 25.78
77 Myanmar 44.55 166 Qatar 25.50
78 Belgium 44.04 167 Botswana 25.42
79 Slovenia 44.03 168 Chad 25.37
80 Oman 43.94 169 Turkmenistan 23.96
81 Germany 43.83 170 Equatorial Guinea 23.77
82 Croatia 43.71 171 Lesotho 23.05
83 Lebanon 43.64 172 Russia 22.76
84 Taiwan 43.41 173 Estonia 22.68
85 Haiti 43.34 174 Ukraine 22.21
86 Syria 43.23 175 Democratic Republic of the Congo 20.69
87 Spain 43.04 176 Burundi 19.02
88 Hong Kong 42.88 177 Swaziland 18.38
89 Saudi Arabia 42.65 178 Zimbabwe 16.64

Image File history File links Flag_of_Vanuatu. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_The_Gambia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Colombia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Cambodia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Costa_Rica_(state). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Albania. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Dominica. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Jordan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Panama. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_New_Zealand. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Cuba. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Japan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Honduras. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Republic_of_the_Congo. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Guatemala. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Egypt. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_El_Salvador. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Turkey. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Saint_Vincent_and_the_Grenadines. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Denmark. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Saint_Lucia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Brunei. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Vietnam. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Georgia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bhutan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Korea. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Samoa. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bosnia_and_Herzegovina. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Sri_Lanka. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Senegal. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Antigua_and_Barbuda. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Azerbaijan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Philippines. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Gabon. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Nicaragua. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Libya. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Kyrgyzstan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Solomon_Islands. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Laos. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Tunisia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Benin. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Sao_Tome_and_Principe. ... The Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe is a tiny two-island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, distanced 140 kilometers from one another, and situated about 250 and 225 kilometers, respectively, off the northwestern coast of Gabon. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Indonesia. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Tonga. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Ireland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Tajikistan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Poland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Venezuela_(state). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Norway. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Dominican_Republic. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Macedonia. ... For an explanation of terms related to Macedonia, see Macedonia (terminology). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Guyana. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Israel. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Saint_Kitts_and_Nevis. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Namibia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Seychelles. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Sweden. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Peoples_Republic_of_China. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Romania. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Thailand. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Hungary. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Peru_(state). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Guinea. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Suriname. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Finland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Yemen. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Mauritania. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Fiji. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Kazakhstan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Morocco. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Togo. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Mexico. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Kenya. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Maldives. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Czech_Republic. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Malta. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bangladesh. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Armenia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Comoros. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Singapore. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Barbados. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Slovakia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Malaysia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Greece. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Palestine. ... “Palestinian government” redirects here. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Tanzania. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Cape_Verde. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Guinea-Bissau. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Chile. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Portugal. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_East_Timor. ... The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor, is an island nation in Southeast Asia, consisting of the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecussi-Ambeno, a political exclave of East Timor situated on the western side of... Image File history File links Flag_of_Eritrea. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Argentina. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bahrain. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Trinidad_and_Tobago. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Belize. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Mali. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Paraguay. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Mozambique. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Jamaica. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Cameroon. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Nepal. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Djibouti. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Mauritius. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Ethiopia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Mongolia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bulgaria. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Uruguay. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Nigeria. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Ecuador. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Moldova. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Uzbekistan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Burkina_Faso. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Grenada. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Lithuania. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Austria. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Motto: (traditional) In God We Trust (official, 1956–present) Anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City Official language(s) None at the federal level; English de facto Government Federal Republic  - President George W. Bush (R)  - Vice President Dick Cheney (R) Independence - Declared - Recognized... Image File history File links Flag_of_India. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Cote_d'Ivoire. ... Côte dIvoire (often called Ivory Coast in English; see below about the name) is a country in West Africa. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Brazil. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Rwanda. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Iceland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Sierra_Leone. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Switzerland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Arab_Emirates. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Italy. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Angola. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Iran. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_South_Africa. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Ghana. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Sudan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bolivia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Uganda. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Netherlands. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Kuwait. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Madagascar. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Latvia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Cyprus. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Niger. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Algeria. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Malawi. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Luxembourg. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Zambia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Bahamas. ... [--168. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Central_African_Republic. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Papua_New_Guinea. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Belarus. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Myanmar. ... Anthem Kaba Ma Kyei Capital Naypyidaw Largest city Yangon Official languages Burmese Demonym Burmese Government Military junta  -  Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Than Shwe  -  Prime Minister Soe Win  -  Acting Prime Minister Thein Sein Establishment  -  Bagan 849–1287   -  Taungoo Dynasty 1486–1752   -  Konbaung Dynasty 1752–1885   -  Colonial rule... Image File history File links Flag_of_Qatar. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Belgium. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Botswana. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Slovenia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Chad. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Oman. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Turkmenistan. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Germany. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Equatorial_Guinea. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Croatia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Lesotho. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Lebanon. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Russia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Republic_of_China. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Estonia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Haiti. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Ukraine. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Syria. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Spain. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Burundi. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Hong_Kong. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Swaziland. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Saudi_Arabia. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Zimbabwe. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Sen, Amartya (1999). Development as Freedom. New York, New York: Oxford University Press. 0192893300. 
  2. ^ Hawken, Paul; Lovins, Amory, and Hovins, L. Hunter (1999). Natural Capitalism. New York, New York: Little Brown & Co.. 0316353000. 
  3. ^ Adams WM (2006). The future of sustainability: Re-thinking environment and development in the twenty-first century. Report of the IUCN Renowned Thinkers Meeting. Also, Paehlke R (2005). Sustainability as a bridging concept. Conservation Biology 19:36-8.
  4. ^ Veenhoven R (1996). Happy life expectancy: a comprehensive measure of quality-of-life in nations. Social Indicators Research 39:1-58.
  5. ^ Global Footprint Network :: HOME - Ecological Footprint - Ecological Sustainability
  6. ^ Heavy Lifting
  7. ^ spiked | Who’s happiest: Denmark or Vanuatu?
  8. ^ Johns H & Ormerod P (2007). Happiness, Economics and Public Policy. London: The Institute of Economic Affairs
  9. ^ The Economist, 19th Sep 2002, Treading Lightly
  10. ^ Cameron to offer green tax cuts - Times Online
  11. ^ Goossens Y, et al. (2007). Alternative progress indicators to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a means towards sustainable development. IP/A/ENVI/ST/2007-10. Study provided for the European Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety. Available at http://www.beyond-gdp.eu/background-papers.html

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