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Gross National Happiness Index .:. Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

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Gross National Happiness Index
Gross National Happiness is a term coined by His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck in the 1970s. The concept implies that sustainable development should take a holistic approach towards notions of progress and give equal importance to non-economic aspects of wellbeing. The Gross National Happiness Index is a single number index developed from 33 indicators categorized under nine domains. The GNH Index is constructed based upon a robust multidimensional methodology known as the Alkire-Foster method.

The concept of GNH has often been explained by its four pillars: good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation, and environmental conservation. Lately the four pillars have been further classified into nine domains in order to create widespread understanding of GNH and to reflect the holistic range of GNH values. The nine domains are: psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience, and living standards. The domains represents each of the components of wellbeing of the Bhutanese people, and the term wellbeing here refers to fulfilling conditions of a "good life" as per the values and principles laid down by the concept of Gross National Happiness.

Copyright United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

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