LIFESTYLE

The Happiest Place To Live In The World Has Been Revealed: Goodbye UK, Hello Costa Rica

21/11/2014 10:52 GMT | Updated 30/11/2014 18:59 GMT

Winter weather getting you down? Feeling the effects of SAD?

You might want to consider migrating, as a new map showing the happiest countries to live in has been revealed and, spoiler alert, the UK is nowhere near the top spot.

The findings show that the happiest place to live in the world is, (drum roll please)... Costa Rica. With Vietnam coming in second place and Colombia in third place.

Unsurprisingly, the UK placed as the 41st country for happiness and wellbeing. We did, however, pip the likes of Germany, France and Spain to the post.

Meanwhile the USA ranked as the 105th happiest country. Ouch.

happiness levels

The data, compiled as part of the Happy Planet Index (HPI), is a global measure of sustainable wellbeing.

It measures human progress in terms of what matters to us and the extent to which each country delivers long, happy and sustainable lives for the people who live there. Rather than a country's economy - after all, money doesn't buy happiness.

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Taking 151 countries into account, the data looks at:

:: Wellbeing - this is assessed using a question called the ‘Ladder of Life’ from the Gallup World Poll. It asks respondents to imagine a ladder, where 0 represents the worst possible life and 10 the best possible life, and report the step of the ladder they feel they currently stand on.

:: Life expectancy - using data from the 2011 UNDP Human Development Report.

:: Ecological footprint - uses the Ecological Footprint promoted by WWF as a measure of resource consumption. It is a per capita measure of the amount of land required to sustain a country’s consumption patterns, measured in terms of global hectares (g ha) which represent a hectare of land with average productive biocapacity.

To calculate the Happy Planet Index, researchers multiplied the statistics for wellbeing by life expectancy and then divided this figure by the country's ecological footprint.

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Deborah Doane, director for the World Development Movement says of the study: "When it comes to understanding what’s going on in the world, the first point of call should be the Happy Planet Index. It exposes everything that GDP hides, from the health of the local environment, to the wellbeing of local populations.

"It sees beyond the rhetoric of the much-maligned approach to 'economic development' and gets to the heart of what really matters to people, and most importantly, what governments need to prioritise."

Professor Felicia Huppert from The Wellbeing Institute at University of Cambridge adds: "Recent recognition that the true measure of progress is wellbeing rather than economics, is enormously encouraging.

"Achieving wellbeing that is sustainable requires us to consider how the earth’s finite resources can be used to ensure the well-being of both the present future generations.

"The findings from the HPI challenge us to think creatively about how to optimise good lives in a way that is fair and sustainable," she says.

Here are the top ten happy countries across the globe:

1) Costa Rica

2) Vietnam

3) Colombia

4) Belize

5) El Salvador

6) Jamaica

7) Panama

8) Nicaragua

9) Venezuela

10) Guatemala

[H/T Daily Mail]