The UAE isn’t a happy place
UAE residents are not happy. The Emirates ranks 123rd out of 143 countries worldwide on nef’s Happy Planet Index 2.0. Saudi Arabia ranks13th.
July 6, 2009 1:10 by Dana El Baltaji
Costa Rica is the world’s happiest place, followed by the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, according to a report by nef (the new economics foundation), an UK-based independent think tank and research group.
The organization’s Happy Planet Index 2.0 (HPI) scores 143 nations based on “what truly matters to us – our well-being in terms of long, happy and meaningful lives – and what matters to the planet – our rate of resource consumption.”
The UAE and Kuwait rank 123rd and 128th respectively, the two lowest placed Arab countries. Meanwhile, Egypt and Saudi Arabia topped the list at 12th and 13th respectively. Other Arab countries featured in the index are Palestine (56) and Syria (38).
As for rich and developed nations, the highest ranked Western nation is the Netherlands (43), followed by Germany (51), Switzerland (52) and Sweden (53). The UK ranks 74th and the United States lags behind at 114th place.
The survey shows that economic growth does not translate into improved HPI rankings; “If anything, there is actually a negative correlation between GDP growth and change in HPI scores,” says the report.
The organization determines happiness based on ‘life satisfaction’. It asks respondents: “All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?”
Nef explains they have received meaningful answers; respondents based on respondents’ “size and strength of their social networks, relationship status, level of education, presence of disability, as well as with their material conditions, such as income and employment.”
According to nef, 99 percent of the world’s population is represented in its index.