Happy Planet Index
Costa Rica has ranked high on the Happy Planet Index for the past three years; coming in at first place in the Americas, and twelfth in the world. The HPI is based on the general principles that most people want to live long and have fulfilling lives. The countries that rank the highest are the ones that allow for their citizens to live this way, but also maintaining that future generations can continue to do so. Additionally, not infringing on the people of other countries to do the same. The index is designed to take into account factors that other more established index ratings do not- things like sustainability, and prioritizing health and mental & emotional well-being over financial success.
The World Happiness Report
The World Happiness Report produces research on what qualities make for the happiest countries to live. They have found that most of human happiness derives from six factors. Those factors are: strong economic growth, healthy life expectancy, quality social relationships, generosity, trust, and freedom to live life as you please. They note that these things don’t develop unintentionally- they are related to a country’s government and cultural values.
Last fall, National Geographic published an article listing Costa Rica as one of the top three happiest places on earth. They cited the factors of security, having a sense of purpose, minimal stress, and maximum joy. It made it to the top of their list mainly for cultural reasons, that the government helps to sustain. They have universal healthcare, a high literacy rate, lasting peace, strong family bonds, faith, and equality. Also, Costa Ricans are known for their friendliness and generosity. You can see then, how this ties in with the world research done on the happiest places to live.
Tourism: See For Yourself
Based on Costa Rica’s tourism statistics, it seems like the rest of the people in the world agree that it’s a pretty great place to be. Tourism is the fastest growing economic sector in the country, responsible for 12.5% of the country’s GDP. And each year, it continues to grow. In 2015, it hit a historical record of 2.66 million foreign visitors. In addition to the friendly, happy people of Costa Rica, visitors are drawn to the beautiful scenery, extreme biodiversity, and moderate climates. Whether you’re a beach or mountain person, Costa Rica has something for you. It has a well-established system of protected areas and national parks, several volcanoes, and coastlines along the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Also, while representing a mere 0.03% of the world’s land mass, it claims 5% of the world’s biodiversity!
Come visit, and see for yourself why everyone in Costa Rica is so happy!