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Gross National Happiness

December 19, 2008

I came across an interesting method to measure the happiness and well-being of society called Gross National Happiness or GNH. Really useful for those who aren’t convinced that consumption = happiness.

GNH is calculated from 7 components sampled from economic, environmental, physical, mental, workplace, social and political areas.

On the economic side for example, it measures consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution. On the mental side, it measures the usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients. Wiki has a good writeup if you want to know more.

Businessweek did a gobal survey of GNH in 2006 and listed the top 10 happiest countries as:

1. Denmark
2. Switzerland
3. Austria
4. Iceland
5. Bahamas
6. Finland
7. Sweden
8. Bhutan
9. Brunei
10. Canada

So Bhutan, a place hardly anyone goes to, is the happiest Asian nation. Incidentally the GNH concept was originally coined by Bhutan’s former king. Apparently GNH is also a big thing in Thailand even if they’re not in the top 10.

Also, check out this “Happiness FAQ” to tell if a person is happy or unhappy with his/her life.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 19, 2008 9:45 am

    I think Malaysia is somewhere in the bottom half.

    Haha, so is Singapore. 😀

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