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.

Download the full document