The Happiest Place on Earth

Costa Ricans Report Highest Life Satisfaction

Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world, enjoy the second-highest average life expectancy and are a hair’s-breadth from the goal of living in a country that consumes no more than its fair share of Earth’s natural resources.

The Central American winner led the 143 countries surveyed annually by Britain’s New Economics Foundation. Nine of the top 10 spots featured Latin American nations. Results also showed that the U.S. populace was greener and happier 20 years ago than it is today.

The study covers 99 percent of the world’s population. “We desperately need a new compass to guide us,” says Nic Marks, founder of the foundation’s center for well-being.

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