June 20th, 2012
Results from the Happy Planet Index's (HPI) 151-country-wide survey were released today, revealing the top 10 happiest and unhappiest countries on the planet.
With South Africa and Zimbabwe ranking among the Top 10 unhappiest countries, and Botswana weighing in at the number one spot, it seems as though Sub-Saharan Africa has been shadowed by the sad face banner.
On the contrary, South- and Central America seem to be marching away in rays of sunshine, rainbows and all round wholesome happiness.
Among the top 10 happiest countries, nine are located in this area with Costa Rica carrying the flag for happiest. The only exception is Vietnam, at number two.
So, looking for a place of smiles and fun to break away to? We suggest making your pick of HPI's list of top 10 happiest countries:
1. Costa Rica
5. El Salvador
According to News24, the report is a new way of determining progress or development, and the researchers said they measured "what mattered" - people's life expectancy, their experience of welfare, the state of their environment and the sustainable use of their resources.
One thousand people older than 15 from each country were asked to fill in questionnaires about their personal happiness.
The HPI says that citizens of a happy country should have a life expectancy of 87, their level of happiness should be 8 out of 10 and their carbon footprint should not be bigger than 1,7 hectares per capita.