About the Happy Planet Index


Publication: 2013-09-28


The index is an efficiency measure, it ranks countries on how many long and happy lives they produce per unit of environmental input. The 2012 HPI report ranks 151 countries and is the third time the index has been published.

The HPI is a clear and meaningful barometer of how well a nation is doing. This is its key value. But although the HPI measures a lot, it does not measure everything. Countries that do well on the HPI suffer many problems and many high-ranking countries are tainted by important human rights issues. And though one would expect the infringement of rights to negatively impact on the well-being of some people in the country, the HPI does not set out to directly measure those rights. Furthermore, because it is likely that people directly affected by extreme human rights abuses represent a minority, the population average well-being score may not fully reflect this harm. Because of this, we do not recommend that the HPI be the only thing that countries measure. Blind pursuit of a single objective, whilst disregarding the means to achieving it, is dangerous. nef has developed a measurement framework of which HPI is a component alongside other measures such as economic performance and environmental pressure.


Name:Owen Ambur


Name:Happy Planet Index


The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is the leading global measure of sustainable well-being.


  • Nic MarksThe Happy Planet Index was created by Nic Marks, Founder of the Centre for Well-being at nef (the new economics foundation), and first published in July 2006. Its message resonated with hundreds of thousands of people around the world - within two days of its launch, the report was downloaded and read in 185 countries worldwide.