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HPI score
Ranked #105 of 151

Click a component

Experienced well-being
Ranked #17 of 151
Life expectancy
Ranked #33 of 151
Ecological Footprint
Ranked #145 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

The USA achieves a Happy Planet Index Score of 37.3 and ranks #105 of all the countries analysed.

The USA's HPI score reflects a high life expectancy and high levels of experienced well-being, but is brought down by an extremely high ecological footprint.

Other statistics

GDP per capita ($PPP):
309 million (#3 of 151)
Land area (square km):
9.1 million (#3 of 151)
Population density (people per square km):
33.8 (#110 of 151)
Governance Ranking (WGI):

The USA's experienced well-being score is 7.2 out of a possible 10.

While a relatively high score, it is lower than that of Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela, Australia, New Zealand and many European countries.

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.

The USA's life expectancy is 78.5 and ranks #33 among the 151 countries analysed.

This is 4.9 years below the life expectancy in Japan, the country with the highest life expectancy.

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.

The USA's Ecological Footprint is 7.19 global hectares per capita.

If everyone had the same Ecological Footprint as the average citizen of The USA:

  • the world's Ecological Footprint would be 2.6x larger
  • we would need to reduce our Ecological Footprints by a factor of 4 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.