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Survey ranks Vietnam the world's 5th happiest country

A new survey acknowledges what residents of Vietnam and visitors alike already know: Vietnam is one of the happiest places on earth. In fact, the survey puts Vietnam at number five on the list of the globe's happiest countries, noted for its strong life expectancy, its ecological footprint and sustainable well-being.

Survey ranks Vietnam the world's 5th happiest country

While some western countries are often praised for their own success a new survey points out that locations such as Southeast Asia and Latin America are leading the pack when it comes to the happiest places on the planet. As detailed in a recent article published by Thanh Nien News, a survey designates Vietnam as the world’s 5th happiest country.

The New Economics Foundation, a think tank based in the United Kingdom, puts the Happy Planet Index together every few years. This year’s index places Vietnam as number five out of a list of 140 countries around the world. Specifically, the survey represents the countries ranked via sustainable well being, or rather how residents are utilizing a country’s environmental resources to translate to a longer, happier life.

The 2016 index takes into account the categories of life expectancy, ecological footprint, inequality of outcomes and well being. Offering a 75.5-year life expectancy, this country of around 90 million people maintains high educational enrolment and a small ecological footprint.

It's not surprising that the country is also ranked by travellers as one of TripAdvisor’s top destinations in the world. In addition, while the article points out that Vietnam and Gambia are similar in size of economies, people in Vietnam enjoy a life expectancy of an additional 17 years. When comparing inequality of outcomes, which takes into account a country’s life expectancy scores and inequality in well being, Vietnam outperforms Costa Rica, which ranks this year again as number one on the list.

The rest of the countries representing the top five for 2016 include Mexico, Columbia and Vanuatu in the South Pacific. This is the fourth release of the Happy Planet Index, also compiled in 2006, 2009 and 2012. Four years ago Vietnam took the honour of second place, slightly behind Costa Rica. The other countries in the top ten that year were all located in Central and South America.

Vietnam has changed drastically over the past decade or so, emerging as one of Southeast Asia’s premiere new tourist destinations. Featuring dozens of national parks and World Heritage Sites the country routinely welcomes foreign visitors for holidays in places like the capital city of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest city.

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