Gross National Happiness

Another cool thing about Bhutan is that they measure their well being using GNH opposed to GDP or GNP.

Gross National Happiness (GNH) is an attempt to define quality of life in more holistic and psychological terms than Gross National Product.
The term was coined by Bhutan’s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck in 1972 soon after the demise of his father King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk who has opened up Bhutan to the age of modernization. It signaled his commitment to building an economy that would serve Bhutan’s unique culture based on Buddhist spiritual values. Like many moral goals, it is somewhat easier to state than to define. Nonetheless, it serves as a unifying vision for the Five Year planning process and all the derived planning documents that guide the economic and development plans of the country.
While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH claims to be based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of equitable and sustainable socio-economic development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.

4 thoughts on “Gross National Happiness

  1. We’ve our own progressive measure and another which has looooong been in the works. (They keep announcing a launch date only to put it off and off and off… Perhaps this time, it’ll be for real.)

    Since our politicos have failed to pay attention to the first, the second also is likely to be ignored. 🙁

  2. Gross National Happiness (GNH) only works for Bhutan as we have very small population (700,000), but it is a good concept for everyone to use it!

  3. Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a concern of many countries in our modern society. However, it is questionable how much the government contributes to improve the GNH figure. Med Yones, a happiness expert, reported that “According to the American journal of psychiatry the rates of depression across almost all demographic groups have risen in the United States over the past 10 years, with major depression rising from 3.33 percent of U.S. adults in 1991-1992 to 7.06 percent in 2001-2002: In other words, it has more than doubled”. Those facts should scare us and make us act against the GNH disaster. The paper, which summarizes the GNH study in three sections: statement of the problem, root cause analysis as well as recommendations, are to find at

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