Ireland ranked 48th in new Happy Planet Index

But we come below counties like Mexico, Thailand and Indonesia

Ireland ranked 48th in new Happy Planet Index

Image: happyplanetindex.org

A new happiness index has ranked Ireland as the 48th country in the world.

The Happy Planet Index measures sustainable well-being for all people.

The organisers say it tells them how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.

"Wealthy Western countries, often seen as the standard of success, do not rank highly on the Happy Planet Index," the authors say.

"Instead, several countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region lead the way by achieving high life expectancy and well-being with much smaller Ecological Footprints."

The index is compiled by looking at four main factors:

  • Well-being: How satisfied the residents of each country say they feel with life overall, on a scale from zero to ten, based on data collected as part of the Gallup World Poll
  • Life expectancy: The average number of years a person is expected to live in each country based on data collected by the United Nations
  • Inequality of outcomes: The inequalities between people within a country - in terms of how long they live, and how happy they feel - based on the distribution in each country’s life expectancy and well-being data. Inequality of outcomes is expressed as a percentage.
  • Ecological Footprint: The average impact that each resident of a country places on the environment, based on data prepared by the Global Footprint Network

In Ireland's case, our ranking of 48th puts us after such countries as Costa Rica, Mexico, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Palestine.

But the index places Ireland above other nations like Germany, Japan, Canada and Luxembourg.

Ireland also comes out quite well in terms of life expectancy - at 20th out of the 140 countries - with the average age of 80.5.

We also come 17th out of 140 counties for general well-being and 14th for inequality.

But we fall down when it comes to our ecological footprint - with Ireland coming 118th on the list.

Costa Rica tops the list with a score of 44.7, while Chad is at the bottom with 12.8.