Looking for the Good Life? Move to Costa Rica

July 4, 2009

(ChattahBox)— According to the 2009 Happy Planet Index, the Latin American country of Costa Rica is the happiest place to live in the world. The people in this tropical nation nestled next to Nicaragua, were credited with the highest life satisfaction scores.

The Happy Planet Index rejects the notion of wealth alone as a true indicator of happiness, instead focusing on other factors, such as life expectancy, carbon footprint and subjective life happiness.

Besides scoring first in happiness, Costa Rica came in second for life expectancy, right behind Canada and ahead of the U.S., together with an admirable footprint of 2.3 global hectares. To achieve a true “one planet living, according to the index, countries should aim for a carbon footprint orf 2.1 global hectares or less.

Costa Rica’s footprint is less than a quarter the size consumed by the United States.

Surprisingly, Latin American countries dominated the top ten list of happiest places to live. The top five countries after Costa Rica were, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guatemala and Vietnam.

The Happy Planet report suggests people in Latin American countries focus less on material consumption and have greater and more satisfying family and societal connections than Western nations, which makes for happier people.

The U.S. scored only 114 out of 143 countries included in the study, because of its massive levels of consumption and giant ecological footprint.

The Happy Planet report recommends that Western nations place less emphasis on consumption and devote more energy towards developing more meaningful lives and stronger social and family ties. Sage advice indeed.

The full Happy Planet Index report is available here.



One Response to “Looking for the Good Life? Move to Costa Rica”

  1. Chris R on July 6th, 2009 12:05 pm

    I will someday move to Costa Rica. Really.

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