PEOPLE in the war ravaged Iraq, Libya and the even the poverty stricken Malawians are far much happier than Zambians, according to a new report.
Zambia ranks 99th happiest in a poll of 151 countries in the 2012 Happy Planet Index released last month. Neighbouring Malawi, despite all the economic and social problems there, is ranked 72nd. Libya- coming out of a bloody revolutionary campaign—polled number 81 while Iran and Iraq are ranked 77th and 36th.
Zimbabwe – coming out of a decade-long economic nosedive – ranks 115th slightly better than its two economically prosperous neighbours South Africa which came 142nd, and Botswana last.
The New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index ranked all of the countries in the world from data culled from a Gallup World Poll asking people how happy they were on a scale of one to 10.
They then factored in life expectancy and the country’s ecological footprint – the amount of land needed to sustain its way of life.
The Central American country of Costa Rica was named as the happiest place in the world, followed by Vietnam and Colombia. The entire top 10 is locked down by South American and Caribbean countries.
Britain ranked 41st, Germany 46th, France 50th, the United States 105th and Russia 122nd.
Nic Marks, of the New Economics Foundation, the creator of the index, said: “The index measures what really matters – long and happy lives now and the potential for good lives in the future.
“For too long we have relied on incomplete measures of progress that focus only on economic activity, such as gross domestic product. Rich and poor nations face different challenges but their ultimate goal is the same.”
The 2012 HPI is the third time the report has been published. (Click here to see the report in full)