Science in the modern world is an international pursuit, and CERG is no exception to the rule that a good group is made up of people from all over the world. In this post, CERG-researcher Natale Rolim shares her perspective on the differences between her home country Brazil, and Norway.
Have you ever heard of HDI*? Of course yes! And you are right and everybody would agree with you that Norway is one of the best places to live!
Norway leads the world in the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI). Hurra for Norge! By contrast Brazil is far, far away down from Norway, not only geographically, but also in the Human Development Report’s annual rankings of national achievement in health, education and income, released on 2 November 2011 by the United Nations Development Programme. According to this report, the countries fall into four broad human development categories, each of which comprises 47 countries: Very High Human Development, High Human Development, Medium Human Development and Low Human Development. Norway is in the “VERY HIGH human development” group, of course, while Brazil is at the bottom of the “HIGH human development” group, which is not that bad – except Brazil is #84 in this group…
It is important to know that HDI does not measure other factors considered equally essential elements of human development, such as civic engagement, environmental sustainability or the quality of education and health standard. But to Norway, this doesn’t matter because Norway is still #1 on the list. (Hurra for Norge!)
Have you ever heard of HPI? I don’t know about you, but I know it very well! On the Happy Planet Index (HPI), Brazil is #8! Viva Brazil! On this list, Norway is #88.
“The HPI is an innovative measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives.”
However, much criticism of the index has been due to commentators falsely understanding it to be a measure of happiness, when it is a measure of the ecological efficiency of supporting well-being in a given country. Each country’s HPI value is a function of its average subjective life satisfaction, life expectancy at birth, and ecological footprint** per capita. The exact function is a little more complex, but conceptually it approximates multiplying life satisfaction and life expectancy, and dividing that by the ecological footprint. But to Brazil, this doesn’t matter because Brazil is still #8 on the list. (Viva Brazil!)
I am a Brazilian researcher living in Norway! Yes, you can easily define me as a “very happy and healthy” woman earning “tons” of money in Norway! That is partly true. But it is not that difficult to find a very successful Norwegian man having a great time in Brazil, either!
What a perfect combination!!! I am glad that I have my little Brazilian boy, who was born in Norway! Viva Norge! Hurra for Brazil!
Written by Natale Rolim, Researcher at CERG.