Costa Rica: The Happiest Country in the World!

Costa Rica: The Happiest Country in the World!

If you’re looking for happiness in retirement, or you’re looking to invest in a place where others find happiness, you’ve got to consider Costa Rica. It’s the happiest country in the world! Those are the findings of the social scientists at the Happy Planet Index.

The Happy Planet Index measures what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all. That means high life expectancy and wellbeing with much smaller ecological footprints. The index provides a compass to guide nations as they make decisions that can benefit all people. The metric measures the four following elements:

  • Wellbeing: how satisfied residents of each country say they feel with their life, on a scale of 0 to 10.
  • Life expectancy: The average number of years a person is expected to live.
  • Inequality: Inequalities in terms of how long people live, how happy they feel.
  • Ecological Footprint: The average impact that each resident of a country places on the environment.


Taken together, the social scientists come up with a score. Out of 140 countries that the social scientists measured, Costa Rica came in with the highest ranking—making it the happiest country on earth. But it wasn’t the first time. Costa Rica came out first on the index in 2009 and in 2012 studies as well.

This tropical Central American country is home to the greatest density of species in the world. Costa Rica’s GDP per capital is less than a quarter of the size of many Western European and North American countries, yet the people are happier. It’s one of the most popular countries on the planet for expats looking for the best places to retire. The tourism industry, agriculture, and exports drives the strong economy. In fact, the country is so stable that the government doesn’t even see the need for an army.

Costa Rica abolished its army in 1949. Rather than wasting resources to build an unnecessary military industry complex, Costa Rica invests in education, health, and pensions. In 2012, Costa Rica invested more in education and health as a proporion of Gross Domestic Product than the United Kingdom.

Professor Mariano Rojas, an economist, attributes Costa Ricans’ high wellbeing to a culture of forming solid social networks of friends, families, and neighborhoods. That’s why it’s a great place to retire or invest.

Costa Rica is also a world leader when it comes to environmental protection. Taxes from the sale of fossil fuels pays to protect the rich forests.  Renewable resources produces 99% of the electricity in Costa Rica and the government invests in energy with a goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2021.

Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world because locals focus on living simply, appreciating nature, and spending time with friends and loved ones. Retirees who want to get away from the noise and anxiety that is so prevalent in the rest of the world can relax in the gorgeous, sunny, warm beauty of Costa Rica.

The country and its laidback, Pura Vida way of life helps people feel richer than all the fancy possessions in the world.

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