In 2019, Mexico ranked 23rd on the HPI – in 2013 it was the third highest. In 2020, the country saw a decline in life expectancy and its inhabitants went down a step on the ladder that leads to the best possible life; however, its ecological footprint did become a little smaller.
The COVID-19 pandemic showed the fragility of the country’s health and social security systems, which are barely sustained for the minimum. It also revealed the precariousness of employment, more than half of which is registered in the informal economy. In addition, the irruption of COVID-19 took the country into an intense political trance, initiated in 2018, which had, and has, been reflected in the economy and, of course in people’s lives.
The government of the Republic did not establish special measures, fiscal, for example, to support those who lost their jobs or to shore up health services that were in full legal, budgetary, and operational restructuring. This emphasised major problems that Mexico has been facing for decades: inequality, increasing poverty and, recently, the public insecurity that has been eating away at it.
Costa Rica’s constancy in the top position of the HPI is perhaps related to the social, economic, and political stability it enjoys, even though the indicators that feed the Index do not show such large differences with Mexico.
For a nation that is used to the fickleness of economic indicators, always negative for the majority, the value of a tool like the HPI, for Mexico, is that it rings the alarm signal for the human dimension.
It points to the highest priority: people’s happiness, towards which the other signals of economic and political activity should point.
To improve its ranking on the HPI, Mexico must address some issues as a priority.
It is also necessary to pay active attention to two cross-cutting issues according to international standards: climate change (care and conservation of natural resources) and the violence that afflicts the country.
People always take care of the rest. The Happy Planet Index is proof that setbacks do not inhibit the good spirit to take control of personal and social destiny.
A resilient society – that is the basis for repairing what has been damaged.
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