Our Quest To Practical Spirituality.

The Arts Cafe (The Art House Cafe) => The Press Club => Topic started by: Medusa on July 04, 2009, 05:04:52 am

Title: Why Costa Rica is the happiest place
Post by: Medusa on July 04, 2009, 05:04:52 am
Hey Eugene

Found this as well, now this is some happy news heheheheehhe

   "Every society clings to a myth by which it lives. Ours is the myth of economic growth."

I wonder how Gordon Brown reacted when he read these opening words in the Sustainable Development Commission's report Prosperity without growth [2.97Mb PDF], published in March this year. (The Commission is a public body set up to advise the prime minister on sustainable development.)

And I wonder how he might respond to today's news that, when one compares levels of sustainability and well-being internationally, Britain comes a miserable 74th in the world. Number one is Costa Rica.

The analysis, by the think tank nef, is bound to be controversial because it requires us to reconsider what we mean by progress. If you are reading this and believe that the success of a country is calculated by its wealth, this may prove disconcerting.

What nef, Sustainable Development Commission, UK government, European Commission and even the OECD all appear to agree on is that we need a better evaluation of progress than simple GDP.

It is argued that the measure of a successful nation needs to reflect some measure of life satisfaction and the environmental sustainability of that society. Simply being rich is not the point any more.

So nef has come up with a formula for international comparison: the Happy Planet Index (HPI). First conducted in 2006, today sees the publication of the second round of data, including a map of the world based on the HPI. And here it is.


According to nef, "the results turn our idea of progress on its head". Well, I certainly would not have predicted that the most successful countries on the planet are in Central and Latin America. Indeed, the researchers seem slightly surprised by the results:

    "Let's not beat about the bush. The region has had, and continues to have, its fair share of misery: decades of civil wars and coups, the destruction of the Amazon, sharp inequality, and the favelas and slums of metropolises from Mexico City to Sao Paulo. For some, the region represents a sad tale of lost opportunity."

Hmm. Doesn't sound like paradise to me, but despite all of this, nine of the top ten countries in the HPI are in Latin America and the Caribbean.


Looking at the UK's position below Bosnia and Romania, perhaps we could do with a bit of Pura Vida ourselves?

Full story can be found here :