Many thanks to Geoff Evans (ACG Parnell) for this great graphic on Gross National Happinesss. The term was coined in 1972 by Bhutan’s former King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, who has opened up Bhutan to the age of modernization. The Himalayan kingdom the size of Switzerland with no McDonalds, no ATM machines, no traffic lights, and until ten years ago no TV, is for many people an earthly paradise. Bhutan is ranked 130th in the UN Development Program’s ratings, close to Haiti and Bangladesh. Most visitors rate it almost infinitely higher using the measure of Gross National Happiness. GNH value is proposed to be an index function of the total average per capita of the following measures:
1. Economic Wellness: includes consumer debt, average income to consumer price index ratio and income distribution
2. Environmental Wellness: Includes pollution, noise and traffic
3. Physical Wellness: Measures physical health including severe illnesses
4. Mental Wellness: Includes usage of antidepressants and rise or decline of psychotherapy patients
5. Workplace Wellness: Includes jobless claims, job change, workplace complaints and lawsuits
6. Social Wellness: Includes discrimination, safety, divorce rates, complaints of domestic conflicts and family lawsuits, public lawsuits, crime rates
7. Political Wellness: Includes the quality of local democracy, individual freedom, and foreign conflicts.
Interesting to see from this graph that New Zealanders are happiest around public holidays and Valentines Day. I would like to see what happens to the data after the Rugby World Cup next year – there would either be a serious peak or trough depending on the performance of the AB’s.