An Extensive Analysis of GNH Index

Overall, in 2010, 8.3% of Bhutanese people are ‘deeply happy’ according to GNH; 32.6% are ‘extensively happy’; 48.7% are ‘narrowly happy’, and 10.4% are ‘unhappy’. These four groups correspond to people who have achieved sufficiency in more than 77%, 66-76%, 50-65%, and less than half of the nine domains, respectively. The 2010 GNH Index uses the middle cutoff. Its value is 0.743 and shows that, overall, 40.9% of Bhutanese are identified as happy (meaning they are extensively or deeply happy), and the remaining 59.1% enjoy sufficiency in 56.6% of the domains on average. Recall that 48.7% of these are already narrowly happy, but are considered not-yet-happy for policy purposes. GNH gradients and indices are reported for each of the 20 districts by gender, by rural-urban areas, and, for illustrative purposes, by age and certain occupational categories.

The analysis has two parts: first, the wellbeing of the people who have been identified as ‘happy’ is examined to show the indicators in which they enjoy sufficiency. Some individual examples are presented to show that the ‘happiest’ people are diverse with respect to age, district, occupation, gender, and sufficiency profiles.

Second, the insufficiencies among those not identified as happy (or not-yet- happy) are examined. The GNH Index value can rise either by increasing the percentage of people who are happy, or the percentage in which not- yet-happy people enjoy sufficiency. This analysis clarifies areas where policy interventions or actions by other institutions could increase GNH. All tables used in this report, together with the survey instrument of questions used in the index and statistical analyses, are presented in the extensive appendices.

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A Short Guide to GNH Index

Bhutan’s GNH Index is a multidimensional measure and it is linked with a set of policy and programme screening tools so that it has practical applications. The GNH index is built from data drawn from periodic surveys which are representative by district, gender, age, rural-urban residence, etc. Representative sampling allows its results to be decomposed at various sub-national levels, and such disaggregated information can be examined and understood more by organizations and citizens for their uses. In the GNH Index, unlike certain concepts of happiness in current western literature, happiness is itself multidimensional – not measured only by subjective well-being, and not focused narrowly on happiness that begins and ends with oneself and is concerned for and with oneself. The pursuit of happiness is collective, though it can be experienced deeply personally. Different people can be happy in spite of their disparate circumstances and the options for diversity must be wide.

The GNH Index is meant to orient the people and the nation towards happiness, primarily by improving the conditions of not- yet-happy people. We can break apart the GNH Index to see where unhappiness is arising from and for whom. For policy action, the GNH Index enables the government and others to increase GNH in two ways.


Provisional Findings of 2015 GNH Survey

This report provides preliminary findings of the 2015 GNH Survey while a full report is being prepared. The Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research (CBS) carried out the survey between January and May 2015 with funding from the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The survey is designed to collect data on range of indicators on wellbeing and happiness.

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Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Gross National Happiness

Edited by Dasho Karma Ura and Dorji Penjore

This publication is the proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Gross National Happiness held in Thimphu, Bhutan, from 24 to 26 November 2008, against the backdrop of the global financial crisis. The conference which attracted 90 participants from 25 countries and five continents was attended by an average of 300 participants and observers. With the theme ‘Practice and Measurement’, the conference could not be held at a better place and time than Bhutan, the birthplace of GNH, and a time when the world is questioning the conventional growth model and its measurement system.

A total of 48 papers were presented. Almost all papers have been categorised to fit into one of the nine domains of Gross National Happiness: i. Psychological Wellbeing; ii. Time Use and Balance; iii. Cultural Diversity and Resilience; iv. Community Vitality; v. Ecological Diversity and Resilience; vi. Good Governance; vii. Health; viii. Education; and ix. Living Standard. Papers related to measuring progress and development of alternative measure of wellbeing (Measurement), and those related to carrying the GNH forward into global network and development of innovative ideas for implementing GNH (The Way Forward) constitute two separate parts.

The book is uploaded by chapters for easier and quicker download. The articles will begin downloading when you click on the title of the articles that you want.

Sl.No. Content Author

Page no.

0 Cover and Copyright page  
0 Introduction


1 Keynote Address His Excellency Jigmi Y Thinley, Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan


2 Remarks Nicholas Rossellini, Resident Coordinator of UN System in Bhutan


3 Measuring Progress Towards GNH: From GNH Indicators to GNH National Accounts? Ronald Colman


4 The Analysis of Results of Research into ‘The Ideal Society’ in Japan, Sweden and Bhutan – Using the Indicators of Human Satisfaction Measure Terue Ohashi


5 The Global Project on Measuring the Progress of Societies: A global movement for a global challenge Jon Hall


6 Creating National Accounts of Wellbeing; a parallel process to GNH Nic Marks


Psychological Wellbeing
 7 Can We Have Both Psychological and Ecological Wellbeing George Burns


8 The Nature-Nurture Debate: New Evidence and Good News Ragnhild Bang Nes


Time Use
9 Time use and Happiness Karma Galay


10 Internalizing the Other–Cross Cultural Understanding in Arts and Education Sharon Lowen


11 Role of meditation in promoting happiness Khenpo Phuntsho Tashi


12 The Semantic Structure of Gross National Happiness: A View From Conceptual Metaphor Theory Carl Polley


Community Vitality
13 Development and (Un)happiness: A case Study from Rural Ethiopia Dena Freeman


14 Religious Institution Based Community-hood and Identity of a ‘Muslim Community’ in a ‘Remote’ Rural Village in Bangladesh Mohammed Kamruzzaman


15 To Think Like an Island: Three-Capital Model in Pursuing GNH in Taiwan Juju Chin Shou Wang


Ecological Diversity and Resilience
16 Institutional Challenges to ‘Patience’ in the Collective Management of Public Goods Ram Fishman


17 Status Symbols, Ecosystems and Sustainability Arthur Fishman


Good Governance
18 Good Organizational Practice and GNH: A Proposal for Organizational Performance Indicators Anne-Marie Schreven


19 Between Earth and Sky: Formal Organizations as Instrument in Creating GNH John Nirenberg


20 Do Information and Communication Technologies Further or Hinder Gross National Happiness? Jason Whalley and Kezang


21 ICT Key Role in the Economic Development of Haiti: Lessons from Pilot Projects in Rural Haiti and Associated Directions of Contribution to the GNH Index Serge MirandaFrantz Verella, and Tahar Saiah


22 A Paradigm Shift in Health Care to Increase GNH Dr Chencho Dorji


23 Nature- Deficit Disorder and the Spirit of Wilderness Dave Augeri


24 Dynamic Aging Ethel Lowen


25 Western Education, Socialization and Individualism Andrie Kusserow


26 Gross National Happiness in the Classroom – A Teacher’s Thoughts Meena Srinivasan


27 Conceptualising Education for Constitutional Monarchy System: Meiji Japan’s View and Approach Masanori Kakutani


28 Schools in Rural Areas and GNH: Endogenous Actions of Small Communities in Japan and Sweden Michiyo Okuma Nystrom


Living Standard
29 Shift in the Measure of Quality of Life viz-a-viz Happiness – A Study of Phongmey Gewog and Trashigang Town in Eastern Bhutan Vijay Shrotryia


30 Japan’s Paradigm Shift from Growth to Happiness: Slowing Down to Advance Wellbeing Junko Edahiro and Riichiro Oda


31 Food Security and Gross National Happiness Akiko Ueda


32 Optimal Condition of Happiness: Application of Taguchi Robust Parameter Design on Evidences from India Prabhat Pankaj and Deobra


GNH – The Way Forward
33 The Future of Happiness as a National Pursuit Ross MacDonald


34 Critical Holism: A New Development Paradigm Inspired by Gross National Happiness? Hans van Willenswaard


35 GNH: Changing Views, a Label for Quality Information Nille van Hellemont


Contributor’s biography