NZ ahead of Oz in happiness index

By Alexandra Ventura

Photo / Brett Phibbs
Photo / Brett Phibbs

New Zealand has trumped Australia as a happier country in a survey ranking the well-being of nations.

The New Economics Foundation's Happy Planet Index rated New Zealand as the world's 28th-happiest country - well above Australia's ranking of 76.

Costa Rica was rated the happiest country, ahead of Vietnam and Colombia. Bottom, in 151st place, was Botswana

The survey based its rankings on data from the Gallup World Poll, which asked people where they stood on the happiness ladder, from zero to 10. This was then compared with the life expectancy and ecological footprint of a country to determine its standing.

New Zealand and Australia had very poor ecological footprints - the measure of land needed to sustain a country's consumption.

The creator of the Happy Planet index, Nic Marks, said rich and poor nations want the same thing - to be happy.

"The HPI not only reveals how far every country has to travel before it achieves good lives that don't cost the earth, but also the direction it needs to move in."

A senior researcher at the New Economics Foundation, Saamah Abdallah, said the survey could be used as a model for living sustainable, happy, long lives by looking at those countries that top the chart.

An Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development official said it was great to hear that despite the exodus of Kiwis moving to Aussie - more than 53,000 last year - "we're finally beating them".

HAPPIEST PLACES

1. Costa Rica

2. Vietnam

3. Colombia

4. Belize

5. El Salvador

6. Jamaica

7. Panama

8. Nicaragua

9. Venezuela

10. Guatemala

Also:

28. New Zealand

76. Australia

151. Botswana

- NZ Herald

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