Which are the happiest countries on Earth? You may be surprised by what really makes people who live in these countries feel happy.
You might have read many theories about happiness and its definition. But basically, it can be broken down into two theories;
Happy people accept the bad things that happen to them and believe that they will survive no matter what. This behavior could explain why the island countries such as Vanuatu stay profoundly happy places even after great natural disasters. This country was listed as the happiest place on earth just before the great typhoon which utterly destroyed it. But, despite the natural disaster, Vanuatu is still highly rated as the 4th most happy place on Earth.
Pessimists, on the other hand, think that a single bad thing draws new negative things in all areas of their lives. This negative approach can be a great indicator of the level of unhappiness.
How Happiness Levels Are Connected to the Environment
A small South American Republic of Costa Rica is called the happiest country in the world. According to the report of “Happy Planet Index”, which was published by the New Economics Foundation, the list of the happiest countries in the world is entirely unexpected. Instead of measuring the level of happiness by the economy, the countries were ranked by how much happiness people get from the use of environmental resources.
Happiness can be measured by the well-being, life expectancy, and social equality. But on the next level, happiness is defined by environmental influence because the environment is something which we can alter and destroy.
While at the top of the list of happiest places on earth we can find many Latin American countries, the wealthy western nations are ranked quite lower. Britain, for example, is ranked 34th, while the United States are at the 108th place. This information can lead us to the conclusion that economy and wealth are not always the keys to happiness.
Let’s overview, as an example, Costa Rica which is in the first place of this list. This country has 99 percent of its electricity coming from renewable sources. The report noted that Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949. The government then invested the money in health and education programs.
In second place of this list, we can see Mexico. Despite the fact that this country has great problems with rising corruption and violence which have emerged from criminal organizations and gangs, Mexico is a happy country. A good climate and plenty of sunny days can also play a significant role in overall happiness of the population.
Colombia is the third in the list with good grades and happiness, but also due to ecology.
On the other hand, Chad is in the bottom of the list due to the massive ecological impact that the country has on our planet. It is mainly oil oriented and has a significant rate of poverty and inadequate infrastructure. Another factor which placed Chad in the bottom of the list is the Internal instability. The country has conflicts with neighbors and internal political instability.
According to the UN, life expectancy in Chad is only 49 years for men and 52 years for women. This data is a clear image of how unhappy and unsatisfied living affects people’s health.
The second least happy country in the world, according to this list, is Luxembourg. It might come as a surprise because this country is one of the richest countries in Europe: But, Luxembourg recorded a drop in what the economist Francesco Sarracino called “social capital”. The social capital is an indicator of quantity and quality of relationships which enable the society to function properly.
“Happy Planet Index” provided a guide for the nations which is showing us how we can achieve actual progress.
This guide indicates that it is possible to live a healthy life without destroying our planet. We should be learning about happiness from countries with smaller economies. People in these happiest countries are much more connected with nature and spend much more time in beaches, forests, countryside and mountains. This lifestyle is simple, and anybody can implement it to their lives. We can achieve much more if we decide to restructure the resources.
Most of the governments are concerned about the economic growth and political power, while the ecology and people are in the second plan. The programs for socialization, learning, fighting the corruption and racism could greatly help us join the list of the happiest countries. A country has to be open to the exchange of cultural and general goods with the rest of the world! We can create this kind of mentality in families, schools, and homes. Ecology should play a huge role in every society that wants to prosper.
Top 10 happiest countries according to Happy Planet Index:
1st Costa Rica
By Apollonas K.
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