Monday, August 28, 2006

What a Wonderful World: The Happy Planet Index

Well, on one level this is a rather droll novelty, but it makes intuitive sense, once one thinks about it: let's rank the countries of the world according to an "index of happiness," derived by mutliplying life satisfaction by life expectancy and divided by ecological footprint. And how does the Empire rate? Read it and weep. For explanation, the US has a MASSIVE ecological footprint, and not a particularly high life expectancy (the infant mortality rate is the highest among Western nations, don't you know...) so it is ranked 150th, alongside Lithuania, Cote d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and other fine examples. Nothing like a little happy news to start the week. Oh, and the happiest countries? Vanuatu, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Panama.

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