Thursday, January 10, 2013

Happiness Scale 2012

The So-Called Happy Planet Index 2012 Results Were Released. Here is a Full List of the World's Happiest Countries For 2012

The so-called Happy Planet Index released its 2012 results. The organization released its 2012 list of happiest countries in the world. The happiest country in the world for 2012? Costa Rica (Pura Vida!) Latin America features prominently in the top 10 with eight of the 10 happiest countries located in Central and South America.
The first 25 countries listed on the 2012 happiness scale are:
 1.  Costa Rica
2    Vietnam
3    Colombia
4    Belize
5    El Salvador
6    Jamaica
7    Panama
8    Nicaragua
9    Venezuela
10    Guatemala
11    Bangladesh
12    Cuba
13    Honduras
14    Indonesia
15    Israel
16    Pakistan
17    Argentina
18    Albania
19    Chile
20    Thailand
21    Brazil
22    Mexico
23    Ecuador
24    Peru
25    Philippines

Are you interested in knowing where the United States ranks on this scale? Number 105. Canada is 65.  


  1. Not shoveling snow seems to be a constant in the above list.

    1. Hi Norm, Thanks for commenting. That gave me a chuckle. P

    2. So the people of Bangladesh (#11) and Pakistan (#16) are happier than those of the Canada (#65) and the U.S. (#105)? Somehow, I kind of doubt that.

      Actually, according to Happy Planet Index, the reason high income countries like the U.S. and Canada score lower is because of their large ecological footprints, one component used to rate the countries.

      Experts say the Gallup World Poll, which was another component used to rate the countries by the Happy Planet Index, may have been skewed by a cultural proclivity to avoid negative statements regardless of how one actually feels.

      "My immediate reaction is that this influenced by cultural biases," said Eduardo Lora, who studied the statistical measurement of happiness as the former chief economist of the Inter-American Development Bank

      "What the empirical literature says is that some cultures tend to respond to any type of question in a more positive way," said Lora, a native of Colombia.

    3. Yes, this scale takes into consideration the ecological footprint of the countries. So, of course the United States and Canada would be lowered because of this.... Thanks for commenting. P

  2. It's no wonder US and Canadian citizens move south!

    1. Hi Donna, Right you are...... Thanks for commenting. p

  3. Hi Patricia,
    I had heard this before...when I was in Costa Rica, I saw a small sign in a garden that said they were #1in happiness! I don't know that I quite believe the list, but it makes you think about what makes you happy...and once basic necessities are met, extra "things" don't add much to happiness! Just my thoughts...
    Karen in VA

    1. Hi Karen, You are so right. And did you feel happy in that garden? Thanks for writing. P

  4. Hi - I have not looked up any of the scales mentioned above, but I thought one of the reasons these countries place higher on the scale is that when asked questions for the survey, the people rate themselves as "happy." I think in the countries north of the border, when asked if we are "happy" many would respond that they are not because they do not have the material wealth they would like, and therefore say "nope, not happy." Many other cultures rate themselves as "happy" because they have other less material things that they judge by.
    Pat Y.

    1. Hi Pat, Good to hear from you. Seems like every scale uses different ways of judging happiness. Some do call people at random. Others factor in health care, carbon footprint, weather and all sorts of other things. The one I mentioned factored in Carbon footprint and that is one reason why the United States rated so low. Also, lack of affordable health care may have contributed to it too..... P