Beating out all nations in the developed world, Chile ranked at 19th place out of 151 countries surveyed according to a new Happy Planet Index (HPI). This innovative new ranking system blends environmental and social concerns in a way that few studies have done before.
The HPI arrives at its ranking by multiplying experienced well-being by life expectancy and then dividing that number by the country’s overall ecological footprint. The result is a number that reflects not just how well a country’s citizens live, but how environmentally sustainable cede lifestyle is.
In a nutshell, the HPI “tells us how well nations are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now, while ensuring that others can do the same in the future,” the published study reads. “[It’s] a new measure of progress that focuses on what matters.”
At 19th place, Chile joined a handful of other nations in the top 20 including México, Argentina, Guatemala, Vietnam, and Costa Rica.
While Latin American and Caribbean nations scored high overall, the study explained which type of countries did not do so well according to the HPI.
“Whilst many high-income countries score low because of their large Ecological Footprints, the lowest income countries in sub-Saharan Africa tend to rank even lower because of low life expectancy and low well-being.”
The study hopes to draw attention to the incompleteness of other world rankings that focus only on life expectancy and gross domestic product (GDP).
“By only using indicators like GDP to measure success we are not accounting for what really matters, producing happy lives for people now and in the future.”
The HPI hopes to inspire international organizations like the United Nations to take environmental concerns into account when they measure the health of a country’s population.
“We are calling on governments to adopt new measures of human progress that establish the goal of delivering sustainable well-being for all at the heart of our societal and economic decision making process,” the study reads. They look for an indicator that, “measures progress towards the key goal for a better future: sustainable well-being for all.”
The tri-annual study recently made public corresponds with statistics from 2012. To read the complete report click here.