Quality-of-life in nations is measured using an index of ‘Happy Life Years’, developed at Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Netherlands. This index combines average appreciation of life with average length of life. Costa Rica is on top with 66.7 and Zimbabwe at the bottom with only 12.5 happy life years.

The USA rank in the sub-top with an average of 58 years lived happily. Canada outscored the U.S. with an average ranking of 64 years.

Rank lists are published periodically on the World Database of Happiness. The latest rank list counts 148 nations and covers more than 95% of the world’s population.

These findings are presented at the 3rd OECD World Forum, 27-30 October in Busan, South Korea. The focus of this conference is on measures of social progress other than GDP. This measure of Happy Life Years is such an alternative measure.

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