Vanuatu, a small group of islands of the South Pacific Ocean, had the highest HPI (Happy Planet Index) in the world in 2006. HPI is not a measure of happiness but a measure of ecological efficiency based on the assumption that people want to life a long and fulfilling live without impacting future generations opportunity to do the same. Simplified, the actual measure of HPI is the average subjective life satisfaction, life expectancy at birth, and ecological footprint per capita.
In GDP (Gross Domestic Product) Vanuatu ranked 123 the same year. Bermuda ranked 1st in GDP and 75th in HPI, Luxembourg 2nd in GDP and 74th in HPI, and US 5th in GDP and 150th in HPI. GDP is topped by a mix of low population financial tax havens and western highly corporatized societies.
There’s a lot of criticism against HPI but that aside it’s an interesting view on well-being. The core of HPI is the subjective view of individual life satisfaction as opposed to GDP which holds a measurement of market value of produced goods per capita as the highest measurement of standard of living.
Watch this film about Vanuatu and learn of an alternative way of well-being.
- What does well-being mean to you?
- How does it relate to happiness?
- Is the life you live a life of well-being?
- What does money mean to you?
- What does it buy you?