- Year of publication
- Marks, N.; Simms, A,; Thompson, S.; Abdallah, S.
This report is the first Happy Planet Index which was published in 2006. A second report, also catalogued in the Evidence Library, was published in 2009. The Happy Planet Index (HPI) is a measure that claims to show the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered. It differs markedly from the central indicator of national income usually referred to by commentators, and relied on by governments to measure their success - Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It also has a different rationale to the various alternative indicators that begin with GDP and then subtract social and environmental costs to create a more accurate measure of economic success. The HPI report uses a simple traffic light scheme of data coding between countries. It is able, for example, to examine differences in social capital between nine pairs of countries with similar GDP, UN-rated Human Development Index (HDI), life expectancy and ecological footprint. This is achieved by comparing subjective ratings of life satisfaction with a commonly used indicator of social capital - the percentage of people taking part in associational life (Putnam 1993).
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