Gross National Happiness Index
Updated: Mar 17
Have you heard about the Gross National Happiness Index or the GNH? The Bhutanese government created the GNH index. In case your geography is a little rusty, Bhutan is a small country in the eastern Himalayan mountains of Asia. Often, it is forgotten due to its weak economic structure and overpowered neighbors of China and India. Still, Bhutan came up with this concept, an idea far more valuable than money, in my opinion.
Much like its name implies, the Gross National Happiness Index measures the total happiness of the country’s citizens. You may be thinking, how does one measure happiness? This tool is actually very well thought out; it uses nine domains supported by 33 indicators to analyze the nation’s wellbeing according to each surveyed person’s achievements in each indicator.
Okay…so? What's the point? Unlike other countries that focus on their GDP as their level of success, Bhutan uses the GNH in every facet of its government. They even use it to guide how policies are designed to create greater wellbeing and happiness for their people rather than focusing on monetary success. For example, Bhutan is the first and only country in the world to be carbon-negative! Additionally, from 2007 to 2017, they cut poverty from 36% to 12%! That's incredible!
Now, why am I telling you this? Well, often on Everyday Happiness, we talk about personal happiness, but Bhutan is showing the world that national happiness is a concept that is quantitative and can be improved.
How can a country get on this happiness train? It would likely take a shift in mindset. Bhutan is fortunate to have this ingrained into their way of life already due to the country's practice of Buddhist beliefs. But you don't have to be Buddhist to create a national change; you just have to have enough people aware of the concept and willing to vouch for it. The GNH is still a relatively new idea, but there are already small regions in the world testing it out. What do you think? Is this a concept you would want to be incorporated into your government? Shoot me a message over at Everyday Happiness.
By the way, if you would like to read the 2022 World Happiness Report, I have included the link in the HERE! Please note that it is 158 pages long, so grab your reading glasses!
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