The Philippines is one of the one’s world’s happiest countries. In the 2016 Happy Planet Index (HPI) report of the UK-based think tank New Economic Foundation (NEF), the Philippines ranked 20th among 140 countries, Costa Rica is listed as the happiest nation.
The HPI combines four elements to show how efficiently residents of different countries are using environmental resources to lead long, happy lives.
These are life expectancy or the average number of years a person is expected to live in each country; well-being or how satisfied the residents of each country say they feel about life overall, on a scale from zero to 10, based on data collected as part of the Gallup World Poll; ecological footprint which refers to the average impact that each resident of a country places on the environment, based on data prepared by the Global Footprint Network; and the inequality of outcomes meaning inequalities between people within a country, in terms of how long they live and how happy they feel, based on the distribution in each country’s life expectancy and well-being data.
Costa Rica registered 79.1 years for life expectancy, 7.3 rating for well-being with 10 being the highest, 2.8 global hectares for ecological footprint and 15 percent for inequality of outcomes.
In second place was Mexico, followed by Colombia and Vanuatu, which is in the Asia-Pacific region where the Philippines belongs.
In fifth place was Vietnam, followed by Panama, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, Thailand, Ecuador, Jamaica, Norway, Albania, Uruguay, Spain, Indonesia and El Salvador.
The Netherlands and Argentina were 18th and 19th, respectively.
The Philippines, meanwhile, registered a life expectancy of 67.9 years, which is classified as “middling” or in the middle. Data was provided by the Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.
In terms of well-being, the country got a 5. As to ecological footprint, the Philippines registered 1.1 global hectares per capita, classified as good.
Ecological footprint is expressed using a standardized unit of global hectares per person.
According to NEF which promotes social, economic and environmental justice, the HPI measures what matters to everyone: sustainable well-being for all.
“It tells us how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives. The HPI annual survey of countries – which started in July 2006 – provides a compass to guide nations, and shows that it is possible to live good lives without costing the Earth.”
It also explained, “The Happy Planet Index gives us a clearer picture of how people’s lives are going. It does this by measuring how long people live, how people are experiencing their lives directly and by capturing the inequalities in those distributions instead of just relying on the averages.”
It added, “By also measuring how much natural resources countries use to achieve those outcomes, the Happy Planet Index shows where in the world well-being is being achieved sustainably.”