Expatica news

Belgium 17th on (Un)happy Index

16 July 2007

BRUSSELS – Belgium did not score very well on the European (Un)happy Index, a sort of happiness barometer drawn up by British think-tank the New Economics Foundation. Belgium comes in 17th on a list of 30 countries. Countries whose inhabitants leave a small ecological footprint scored higher on the list.

We already knew that money can’t buy happiness, but it now emerges that a large ecological footprint is not a guarantee for a carefree existence either, according to the European (Un)happy Index.

The (Un)happy Index compares the sense of contentment and life-expectancy with the average ecological footprint of residents, that is the impact that our lifestyle has on the environment.

The NEF wanted to figure out whether higher energy consumption makes for happier people. Not the case, according to the results. And that means, says the NEF, that people will not necessarily be less happy if they adopt more environmentally conscious lifestyles.

The (Un)happy Index rated the 27 EU countries plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Belgium scored well with regard to contentment (12th place) and life expectancy (10th place). But that is contrasted with the fact that the Belgians leave a relatively large ecological footprint (8th place). The combination of these results leads to the poor ranking in the index. Belgium is just ahead of France, Poland and Romania. Iceland comes in first on the list; Estonia comes in last.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news