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Are Costa Ricans the world’s happiest people?

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Just announced, the Happy Planet Index for 2009 has painted a surprising picture of the relative wealth and progress of nations, with Costa Rica named as the world’s happiest country.

In this second annual global ranking of well-being and environmental impact, Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world, as well as the second-highest average life expectancy of the Americas (second only to Canada) and an ecological footprint that means that the country only narrowly fails to achieve the goal of ‘one-planet living’: consuming its fair share of the Earth’s natural resources. Dominican Republic comes in second place, Jamaica is third and Guatemala is fourth. The highest-ranking G20 country is Brazil, in 9th place.

Such rankings are always blithely subjective, as much as Happy Planet Index argues for the scientific merits of its charts. That said, anyone who has visited Costa Rica and experienced its gorgeous landscapes and tropical climate will tell you there’s plenty for the locals to smile about!

Of our clients, Sunvil Traveller’s real Latin America programme tailors bespoke touring itineraries of Costa Rica, Guatemala and Brazil, while adventure specialist Explore operates to seven of the top 10 countries.

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