Vietnam 2nd happiest country in the world: survey

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Vietnam is the second happiest country in the world, according to a survey by a British think tank, which, unlike usually for such surveys, has not focused on nations' economic performance.

The New Economics Foundation's Happy Planet Index (HPI) shows the extent to which 151 countries across the globe produce long, happy and sustainable lives for their people. 

The three component measures of the HPI are life expectancy, experienced well-being, and ecological footprint.

Vietnam scored 60.4, behind only Costa Rica, which scored 64.

In 2009 Vietnam had ranked fifth out of 143 countries.

Except for Vietnam the nine other countries in the top 10 are South and Central American .

The countries with the lowest scores are Qatar, Chad and Botswana.

The US ranks 105th on the index.

"The Happy Planet Index measures what really matters long and happy lives now and the potential for good lives in the future," Nic Marks, NEF fellow and creator of the HPI, said.

"For too long we have relied on incomplete measures of progress that focus only on economic activity, such as GDP."

The NEF has released the HPI two times earlier in 2006 and 2009.

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