The Happiest Countries on Earth


Countries in the past have one priority – economic growth. There came to a point where the governments trampled on other objectives just to increase the GDP. This prioritization led to the declining of social conditions and worsening of climate change. You have to know that GDP growth does not automatically mean better life for the residents.

The good news now is that there are organizations that conducted studies and gave role models to other countries when it comes to overall wellbeing of the people not just the economy. Have you heard about the Happy Planet Index (HPI)? HPI just released their list of 2016’s Happiest Countries on Earth. The list seeks to give guidance to other countries when it comes to the wellbeing of their residents.

HPI has four measures that they collated to come up with their results – wellbeing (from Gallup World Poll), Life Expectancy (from United Nations), Inequality of Outcomes and Ecological Footprint (from Global Footprint Network). You will be surprised of the results. The number one Happiest Country on Earth is Costa Rica who abolished its army to give more room for healthcare and education followed by Mexico, Colombia, Vanuatu and Vietnam. Here is half of the list:

  1. Panama: Panama is the sixth Happiest Country on Earth with reported good levels of wellbeing.


  1. Nicaragua: Although the country was ravished by civil war in the 60’s and 70’s, it did not break their spirit. The country boasts of good scores in terms of life expectancy and wellbeing regardless of their low GDP.


  1. Bangladesh: Yes, Bangladesh has low GDP but it does not mean people there are unhappy. In fact they are the eighth Happiest Country on Earth. Despite the limited resources and maximizing it, the country have low ecological footprint. If you compare their life expectancy to other countries (with akin GDP), they are better.

  1. Thailand: Thailand is the ninth Happiest Country on Earth because of their high life expectancy plus the income inequality is low.


  1. Ecuador: Ecuador is the tenth Happiest Country on Earth. The country entered the top list for the first time. It is said that the success can be attributed to the government’s policy of Beun Vivir or the good living. This philosophy is their guide in the conduct of their daily life.


  1. Jamaica: Jamaica is not rich with its relatively low GDP but it doesn’t mean other aspects are low. In fact, they are the eleventh Happiest Country on Earth because of its high life expectancy and lesser ecological footprint.

Where does Singapore fall? It is not yet included in the top 10 list but the city state has come so far now. No doubt it will top this index one of these days.