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HPI score
Ranked #28 of 151

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Experienced well-being
Ranked #15 of 151
Life expectancy
Ranked #15 of 151
Ecological Footprint
Ranked #112 of 151

Key: Happy Planet Index

All three components good
Two components good, one middling
One component good, two middling
Three components middling
Any with one component poor
Two components poor, or "blood red" footprint

Key: Experienced well-being

More than 6.2
Between 4.8 and 6.2
Less than 4.8

Key: Life expectancy

More than 75
Between 60 and 75
Less than 60

Key: Ecological Footprint

Less than 1.78 (the world's biocapacity)
Between 1.78 and 3.56
Between 3.56 and 7.12
More than 7.12

New Zealand achieves a Happy Planet Index Score of 51.6 and ranks #28 of all the countries analysed.

New Zealand's HPI score reflects a high life expectancy and high levels of experienced well-being, but is brought down by a very high ecological footprint.

Other statistics

GDP per capita ($PPP):
29,535 (just over 0.6 the USA's)
4.4 million (#118 of 151)
Land area (square km):
263 thousand (#70 of 151)
Population density (people per square km):
16.6 (#126 of 151)
Governance Ranking (WGI):

New Zealand's experienced well-being score is 7.2 out of a possible 10.

This is below Denmark, the country with the highest level of experienced well-being, but higher than that of the USA, which has an average score of 7.16.

The data for experienced well-being draws on responses to the ladder of life question in the Gallup World Poll, which was asked to samples of around 1000 individuals aged 15 or over in each of the countries included in the Happy Planet Index.

New Zealand's life expectancy is 80.7 and ranks #15 among the 151 countries analysed.

This is below Japan, the country with highest life expectancy (83.4), but higher than the USA, which has a life expectancy of 78.5.

The life expectancy figure for each country was taken from the 2011 UNDP Human Development Report and reflects the number of years an infant born in that country could expect to live if prevailing patterns of age-specific mortality rates at the time of birth in the country stay the same throughout the infant’s life.

New Zealand's Ecological Footprint is 4.31 global hectares per capita.

If everyone had the same Ecological Footprint as the average citizen of New Zealand:

  • the world's Ecological Footprint would be 1.6x larger
  • we would need to reduce our Ecological Footprints by a factor of 2.5 in order to stay within sustainable environmental limits

Ecological Footprint is a metric of human demand on nature, used widely by NGOs, the UN and several national governments. It measures the amount of land required to sustain a country’s consumption patterns.

For a majority of the countries (142 of the 151), Ecological Footprint data were obtained from the 2011 Edition of Global Footprint Network National Footprints Accounts. For the nine other countries included (Belize, Comoros, Djibouti, Guyana, Hong Kong, Iceland, Luxembourg, Malta, and Palestine), Ecological Footprint figures were estimated using predictive econometric models.