Costa Rica Named the Happiest Place on Earth

A new study conducted by a British non-governmental group says that Costa Rica is the happiest place on Earth. In the second Happy Planet Index (HPI)—the original index done in 2006—the New Economics Foundation took a look at 143 countries that are home to 99 percent of the world's population. Happiness was measured by an equation that takes into account life expectancy, people's overall satisfaction and their environmental impact.

Using this formula, Costa Rica is the happiest, greenest country in the world, just ahead of the Dominican Republic. The New Economics Foundation found that Costa Ricans have a life expectancy of 78.5 years and 85 per cent of the country's residents say they are happy and satisfied with their lives. Latin American countries in general did exceptionally well in the survey, occupying nine of the top 10 spots.

Many major Western nations didn’t do so well landing somewhere in the middle of the list, with Britain coming in at 74th place, Australia at 102nd and the US at 114th. Looks like the rest of the world should be taking their cue from Latin America in order to achieve happiness.