Costa Rica: The Happiest Country

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The Pura Vida (“Pure Life” in English) lifestyle of Costa Rica does not just bring laid back beach vibes; it also brings people true happiness. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few organizations that realize Costa Rica is one of – if not the – happiest countries in the world.

Happy Planet Index

The Happy Planet Index uses a slightly different measurement scale to discover the happiest countries in the world than the average organization. Their goal is to “measure what matters: sustainable wellbeing for all.” The Happy Planet Index named Costa Rica the #1 happiest country in the world. Some factors they took into consideration?

- Life expectancy: Good is more than 75, and Ticos come in at 79.1
Wellbeing: Transferring overall feelings of wellbeing to a score can be difficult, but Happy Planet determined that anything above 6 was good. They gave Costa Rica a 7.3
- Inequality of Outcomes: At 15%, Costa Rica landed right in between good and middle
- Ecological Footprint: Read more about Costa Rica’s plan to become energy efficient here


Forbes discusses how a high GDP (Gross Domestic Product) does not equal a country’s happiness in their article “Want To Be Happy? Move To Costa Rica.” They look to factors that bring true, sustainable happiness. For example: a massive lack of loneliness. Costa Ricans feel deep connected to one another.


Costa Rica was also the #1 country for life satisfaction. A sample item Forbes used to determine this was the phrase, “In most ways my life is close to ideal.” For Costa Ricans, “Yes” was the resounding response.

Organic Authority

So why else is this small Central American country so happy? Organic Authority offered up some reasons in their article “7 Reasons Why Costa Ricans Are So Happy.” A few of the topics mentioned are:


- Costa Rica’s lack of army: The constant state of peace evokes feelings of peace
within the residents


- Love of environment: Their connection to the land and its biodiversity brings
much fulfillment and happiness to the people


- Simpler, Fresher Diet: While processed foods can be found in local grocery stores,
diets are mostly made up of beans, rice, grilled meats, and vegetables


- Slower pace of life: Ticos are not in a hurry. They are not rushing life away. They sit
back and soak up every bit of joy they can out of each day

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