Gross National HappinessThe Government of Bhutan has chosen National Happiness as the index of progress, the major components of which are: Gross National Happiness, or GNH, is a holistic and sustainable approach to development, which balances material and non-material values with the conviction that humans want to search for happiness. The objective of GNH is to achieve a balanced development in all the facets of life that are essential; for our happiness.
The four pillars are further elaborated into nine domains, which articulate the different elements of GNH in detail and form the basis of GNH measurement, indices and screening tools.
- Living standards
- Community Vitality
- Psychological well-being
- Good Governance
- Cultural resilience and promotion
These 9 domains, clearly demonstrate that from the perspective of GNH, many inter-related factors are considered to be important in creating the conditions for happiness. For example, GNH counts the importance of material security as one of these – and assessing whether people enjoy sufficient and equitable living standards, is included in the GNH survey. Similarly, the happiness of human beings is not seen as separate from the wellbeing of other life forms, and ecological diversity and resilience are included in the measure of GNH. The balance between material and non-material development, and the multi-dimensional and interdependent nature of GNH are key features that distinguish GNH from GDP as a measure of a country’s progress. In accordance with these nine domains, Bhutan has developed 38 sub-indexes, 72 indicators and 151 variables that are used to define and analyse the happiness of the Bhutanese people.