Costa Rica
© unknownCosta Rica's local farmers markets, proof of a green ecological footprint
Latin America tops a global ranking of ecological efficiency positioning Costa Rica as the world's happiest place to live.

The Happy Planet Index reveals a surprising picture of the relative wealth and progress of nations.

Latin America tops the Index with Costa Rica being termed the greenest and happiest country. Nine of the ten highest-scoring nations are Latin American.

The Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Guatemala, Vietnam, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Brazil and Honduras stand second to tenth on the table of the happiest places of the planet.

The UK comes in at 74th and the USA at 114th out of the 143 nations surveyed.

The report was published by the New Economics Foundation (NEF). It presents the results of the global compilation of the Happy Planet Index (HPI).

HPI looks at three areas to arrive at its conclusions. Namely, life expectancy, happiness, that is citizens' satisfaction with their lives and the ecological footprint of a country.

The Index is based on data gathered form 143 countries around the world. The report shows that globally, people are still far from achieving good lives within the Earth's finite resource limits.