Vietnam ranks fifth in Happy Planet Index

Vietnam ranks fifth in the Happy Planet Index results, and second in the Asia Pacific region, according to the UK-based New Economics Foundation.
March 04, 2021 | 07:23
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Vietnam ranks fifth in the Happy Planet Index results, and second in the Asia Pacific region. Photo: cpcs

Vietnam is one of just three countries in the top ten Happy Planet Index rankings with an Ecological Footprint that is small enough to be considered environmentally sustainable, according to the New Economics Foundation.

The nation has an impressive average life expectancy. Both Vietnam and the Gambia have similar sized economies with similar levels of GDP per capita, yet on average, people from Vietnam live more than 17 years longer.

Vietnam’s inequality of outcomes rating, which measures inequality in wellbeing and life expectancy scores within the country, is better than that of Costa Rica - a likely testament to Vietnam’s robust public service provision.

Vietnam ranks fifth in the Happy Planet Index results, and second in the Asia Pacific region. Photo: Happy Planet Index

School enrolment is among the highest in the world at 98 percent in 2012, and the number of colleges and universities continues to grow rapidly.

Vietnam is on a steep development trajectory. The country has been hailed as a global poster child for poverty reduction - the number of people living in poverty fell from 58 percent in 1993 to 10.7 percent in 2010.

The Happy Planet Index measures what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all. It tells us how well nations are doing at achieving long, happy, sustainable lives.

The index provides a compass to guide nations, and shows that it is possible to live good lives without costing the Earth.

Vietnam climbs 11 places in 2020 World Happiness Report

A girl sits on her dad's back to watch fireworks on Lunar New Year's Eve on Nguyen Hue walking street in HCMC, January 24, 2020. Photo: VnExpress

Vietnam has climbed 11 places to 83rd among 156 economies in the 2020 World Happiness Report.

The report was prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a global initiative launched by the United Nations (U.N.) in 2012.

The rankings are based on an average of three years of surveys between 2017 and 2019, meaning there's overlap in the data from previous years, and include six factors such as level of gross domestic product, life expectancy, generosity, social support, freedom and absence of corruption in government or business, the report said.

Vietnam scored an average of 5.353 points in happiness, improving on the 5.175 it got last year. Despite the improvement, however, Vietnam lagged well behind some of its Southeast Asian peers like Singapore (31st), the Philippines (52nd), Thailand (54th) and Malaysia (82nd).

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam’s position was better than Indonesia (84th), Laos (104th), Cambodia (106th) and Myanmar (133th).

Children play on Dao Duy Tu Street in Hanoi's Old Quarter expanded pedestrian space, December 26, 2020. Photo: VnExpress

For the first time, the U.N. also ranked 186 cities around the world by residents’ perception of their own current well-being and future outlook based on how positively their inhabitants evaluate their expected future lives.

The capital city, Hanoi, ranked 135th with a score of 5,196 out of 10 in terms of current well-being, while Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s southern metropolis, stood at 138th at 5,155.

The report said residents in Hanoi were more optimistic than in HCMC about their expected future lives, with the former standing at 112nd and the latter at 128th, according to VnExpress./.

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