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Vietnam among Top 5 of Happy Planet Index - best score among Asian countries

A content grandmother from a minority tribe in the highlands of Vietnam.


Vietnam is the only country in Asia to enter the Top 5 of the 2009 Happy Planet Index (HPI), the latest one published by the New Economics Foundation (NFF).

The HPI is an index of human well-being and environmental impact that was introduced by the NEF in July 2006.

The index is designed to challenge well-established indices of countries’ development, such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Human Development Index (HDI), which are seen as not taking sustainability into account.

In particular, GDP is seen as inappropriate, as the usual ultimate aim of most people is not to be rich, but to be happy and healthy.

Each country’s HPI value is a function of its average subjective life satisfaction, life expectancy at birth, and ecological footprint per capita. The exact function is a little more complex, but conceptually it approximates multiplying life satisfaction and life expectancy, and dividing that by the ecological footprint.

178 countries were surveyed in 2006, compared to 143 in 2009. The best scoring country in 2009 was Costa Rica, followed by the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, with Tanzania, Botswana and Zimbabwe featuring at the bottom of the list. Previously, 20 years ago, many developed economies such as the US, China and India were happier than now.


Wikipedia  about the the Happy-Planet Index which can be downloaded here:


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