7 Measures of Gross National Happiness (GNH)


(ref: Gross National Happiness (GNH) — A New Economic Metric, By Med Yones International Institute of Management)

In 1972, Bhutan’s King Jigme Wangchuck coined the term Gross National Happiness (GNH) to emphasize the holistic values of economic development policies.

“Happiness is very serious business,” Bhutan Prime Minister Jigme Thinley told the San Francisco Chronicle, 12/4/2008. “The dogma of limitless productivity and growth in a finite world is unsustainable and unfair for future generations.”

The International Institute of Management has proposed these seven measures for quantifying happiness as a socioeconomic development metric.

1. Economic Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of economic metrics such as consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution

2. Environmental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of environmental metrics such as pollution, noise and traffic.

3. Physical Wellness: Indicated via statistical measurement of physical health metrics such as severe illnesses, being overweight, etc.

4. Mental Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of mental health metrics such as usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients.

5. Workplace Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of labor metrics such as jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits.

6. Social Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of social metrics such as discrimination, safety ,divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates.

7. Political Wellness: Indicated via direct survey and statistical measurement of political metrics such as the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.

The above 7 metrics were incorporated into the first Global GNH Survey.

Check out Teachingeconomics.org – Signs of the Economic Times for a good lesson plan and animated Flash presentation that contrasts GNP and GDP with other alternative economic measures of human progress.

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