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Matt Rosenberg

Vanuatu: The Happiest Place on Earth

By July 14, 2006

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The recently released Happy Planet Index ranks the Pacific Ocean island microstate of Vanuatu as the happiest country on earth. Vanuatu is followed by ten Latin American and Caribbean countries, which are ranked according to ecological footprint, life-satisfaction and life expectancy.

Comments

July 14, 2006 at 7:50 pm
(1) Catholicgauze says:

I question any survey which has Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China as “happier” than the US. Also, the ecological footprint sytem is messed up. China is in the green but a friend of mine went there and the pollution there was horrible.

July 22, 2006 at 10:15 am
(2) David Cuthbertson says:

I clicked on the Happy Planet link on your article. It brought up the site which was labeled The UN Happiest Planet??? UN was in red letters??

April 5, 2007 at 6:07 am
(3) Canof says:

Visit the site for yourself: http://www.happyplanetindex.org/about.htm
It isn’t about which country is the happiest. It’s an environmentalist-run psycho-analysis. (In other words, it’s practically worthless.)

July 7, 2007 at 1:30 am
(4) Christine, Collins says:

Better hope, George Bush, does not here that, he might invade ROFL……lol….ROFL!!!…

July 7, 2007 at 7:33 am
(5) DIANE G says:

If all these places are the happiest why are all these foreigners coming to the United States?why dont they stay in their own country???

July 7, 2007 at 8:49 am
(6) Solo Boatie Bill says:

Seems LE is merely what’s reported and recorded, Happy is what the gov’t puts in the brocure, and EI means no technology. In view I was directed here by yahoo it would appear that about dot com is more a partner and a ‘bot’ than a-bout. I did a good laugh, tho, thanks for that!

July 7, 2007 at 9:22 am
(7) Marcseg says:

to quote the site “The Index doesn’t reveal the ‘happiest’ country in the world. It shows the relative efficiency with which nations convert the planet’s natural resources into long and happy lives for their citizens” Once again welcome to the socialist (eco-ist) utopia, where the “nation” decides how you live and how happy you will be, whether you like it or not. Absolutely bogus story!! Once again, the earth would be a really nice place if it weren’t for those darn humans…..

July 7, 2007 at 9:37 am
(8) allan says:

happiness is a state of mind that is achieved when you’re content and at peace where ever you are, be it NYC.or the jungle of s/America. where my life would of been a battle for survival after marriage. American citizen 1992. God bless America .

July 7, 2007 at 10:04 am
(9) Julie says:

I’ve spent time in Cuba, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts. Trinidad, Grenada. Poverty & crime was very high, medical care & education dismal. A lot of basic comforts we take for granted: Indoor plumbing, running water, electricity denied to many. Crime in Nevis was low but still very poor. St. Helena (not on your list) is very lovely with very warm people. Looking at your list I surmise that freedom did not make it on your happiness criteria.

July 7, 2007 at 4:35 pm
(10) Dave Bennett says:

I have been to Vanuatu, actually, and yes, I can raise my hand (oath) and swear that they must be among the world’s happiest people, as a class.

They are MUCH happier than us Americans.

And when I look through the responses above, I see lots of basic flaws… if ‘your friend’ went to China and it was polluted, it doesn’t mean that the “ecological footprint sytem is messed up.” It means your friend probably only saw a tiny, tiny place in all of China (a city). And – not all foreigners are trying to get to America, remember. Vanuatu island folk are sure not likely interested. ;)

July 7, 2007 at 4:41 pm
(11) Dave Bennett says:

I’ve been to Dubai and Jebel-Ali, just outside of Saudi Arabia. Those guys are indeed ‘happier’ than us Americans tend to be. Same with the Chinese (Hong Kong is more like industrial America).

I don’t know that I’d guess Iran is happier, but hey – now that they have Nuclear Power going for them, they MUST be feeling pretty patriotic. So who knows.

“UN”-happiest Planet: the ‘UN’ is simply because the site also ranks the UNhappiest lands as well as the Happiest.

Quote: “… where the “nation” decides how you live and how happy you will be” – in Vanuatu, that line of thought does not directly apply. There is a fully different sense of balance, which even includes how workers should work during working hours.

Very different sense of balance, yet excellent. More ‘free’ than us Americans tend to be. Definitely more culturally diverse, as well.

July 8, 2007 at 12:07 am
(12) Stephanie says:

I have a friend who lives in Dubai and he is very wealthy. But without his materialistic things, he would not be happy, by his own recognition. I have been to Vanuatu once and have friends who go there all the time to visit family. But they have been robbed 2 times. And they live in what we American’s would consider “poverty”. Is America materialistic? No……lol

September 2, 2011 at 2:28 pm
(13) Stonefish42 says:

In vanuatu the unemployed and the employed share an equal state of happiness. there is no beggers in the street, because people don’t depend on money to survive/happy but importantly close families/friends and the land/sea/environment. even people who are materialistic and have all the money will look for a peaceful sandy beach surrounded by coconut palms to put a smile on their face. they will have to work to get it but in vanuatu, thats our backyard so thats why we are happy about

February 7, 2008 at 7:59 pm
(14) ted says:

If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom—Robert Frost

March 30, 2008 at 10:08 am
(15) Marcus says:

Quote:
Stephanie says:

I have a friend who lives in Dubai and he is very wealthy. But without his materialistic things, he would not be happy, by his own recognition. I have been to Vanuatu once and have friends who go there all the time to visit family. But they have been robbed 2 times. And they live in what we American’s would consider “poverty”. Is America materialistic? No……lol”

I partly agree to some parts of these comment, is America Materialistic? i would say yes depends on which part of town you live in and how you live. ” America” maybe big and “rich”, but it don’t mean that everyone is rich ( or “happy”["he would not be happy"]You might wanna check the local crime and robery rate at where you live too ( depends on what [art of town you u live too}, and maybe if you feel like it, do another comparation, just maybe you might find some difference. Look at it the green way..:],
quote:
(13) ted says:

If society fits you comfortably enough, you call it freedom—Robert Frost

July 6, 2008 at 3:20 pm
(16) Mary says:

It is important to remember that simplicity is what makes people happy. If you have ever really lived (for an extended period of time, not a vacation) in any of the countries in question, you will see that the people are happy because they are living simpler,easier life styles. No worrying about health care, insurance, and no need for both husband and wife to work to make ends meet (for the majority of the population). I have spent years in Saudi Arabia and can attest to the happiness there.

October 4, 2008 at 3:24 am
(17) gigi says:

what are you called if you live in vanuatu

October 13, 2008 at 5:22 am
(18) ailangel says:

vanuatu locals are called ‘ Ni-vanuatu’ or more know as ‘ni-vans’. I spend my childhood there and I still have to find another place with happier peole than vanuatu. they are the friendliest people on Earth.

March 6, 2010 at 3:59 am
(19) tommy says:

So in the Us the life expectancy and life satisfaction are green but due to use of resources being blood red the conclusion is that the people are not happy. The maker of the map may not be happy that the US uses a ridiculous amount of resources per capita – but most of the people doing it are quite happy to continue to do it.

October 21, 2010 at 9:01 pm
(20) leiriki says:

STEPHANIES COMMENT:
I have a friend who lives in Dubai and he is very wealthy. But without his materialistic things, he would not be happy, by his own recognition. I have been to Vanuatu once and have friends who go there all the time to visit family. But they have been robbed 2 times. And they live in what we American’s would consider “poverty”. Is America materialistic? No……lol

Thanks a lot steph!! think twice before giving your point….. i guarantee you that vanuatu is the happiest place on earth.We ni-vans are very lucky.we are proud to be ni-vans.In Vanuatu people smile and greet you every where you go.Eventhough there are a few problems the rate of it is low.

June 4, 2012 at 11:20 pm
(21) Bano Reuben says:

I’ve been to Vanuatu and it is the best place I’ve ever been to.. there people are friendly and they live simple. They don’t worry about any thing. Everything are around them. People smiles and greet you everywhere. I suggest that it is the happiest place on earth. If you don’t believe me, go and see.

November 20, 2012 at 4:07 pm
(22) someone says:

I LOVE THAT PLACE!!!!!!

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