New Economics Foundation

European front runner: Norway 12 ( )

Netherlands: 18 ( )

Belgium: 87 ( )

Number of countries in this ranking: 140

What

The New Economics Foundation, a British think tank with ties to the Labour Party, aims to calculate the ‘sustainable well-being for everyone’ with the Happy Planet Index. Simply put, they multiply satisfaction (based on the Gallup World Poll), life expectation (on the basis of the UN) and inequality (in terms of life expectancy and happiness). This is divided by the average ecological footprint, in order to come to a sort of efficiency indicator. The HPI calculates how well countries are doing, and how much pollution this costs them.

Belgium

A first glance at the rankings reveals straight away that it is mainly middle-income countries that score well. The first prosperous country on the list is Norway, at place 12. This is because several countries in Latin-America and Asia are able to combine a relatively high life expectancy with a significantly lower ecological footprint. We even see that Luxembourg takes penultimate place, at number 139, between Chad and Togo, even behind Benin (137), Ivory Coast (135) or Sierra Leone (133). The Netherlands perform reasonably well at place 18, the third best high income country. We cannot say the same for Belgium (87). We are slightly more equal, but live 10 months less and are slightly less happy. The big difference, however, lies in our ecological footprint, which is 40% higher than that of the Dutch.

Jeffrey, Wheatley, en Abdallah, “The Happy Planet Index 2016 A global index of sustainable wellbeing”
http://happyplanetindex.org/countries/

Year 2016
1 Costa Rica
2 Mexico
3 Colombia
4 Vanuatu
5 Vietnam
6 Panama
7 Nicaragua
8 Bangladesh
9 Thailand
10 Ecuador
11 Jamaica
12 Norway
13 Albania
14 Uruguay
15 Spain
16 Indonesia
17 El Salvador
18 Netherlands
19 Argentina
20 Philippines
***
87 Belgium