Pasifik.news – By Adam Boland – July 21, 2016
Vanuatu has been named the happiest country in the Asia Pacific region and fourth happiest in the world.
Australia didn’t even make the world’s top 100 while New Zealand came in at position 38.
The Happy Place Index measures life expectancy, human wellbeing and damage done to a country’s environmental footprint.
Vanuatu’s life expectancy is currently 71.3 years which is less than many countries in the region (Australians, for example, can expect to live to 82) but Vanuatu really shines in wellbeing and impact on the environment.
It’s not the first time the index has recognised Ni-Vanuatu as satisfied with their lives. Back in 2006, the country was named happiest in the world. Costa Rica was given the honour this year.
Authors of the index say one of Vanuatu’s strengths is that it prioritises family and community without needing to be consumer-driven.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. They say Vanuatu still has its challenges including a lack of a formal education infrastructure. “That’s resulted in school enrolments and attendance that’s among the lowest in the Pacific region,” says the report.