GNH Institute - Gross National Happiness Institute - Happiness Movement - Happiness Economics - GNH Index
Gross National Happiness


GNH Home | Happiness MovementHappiness Research Library | About Us


Happiness Economics

Gross National Happiness Index

GNW / GNH Index vs. Bhutan GNH Index

What is the difference between the GNH Index and Bhutan GNH Index?

Comparison Table

GNW / GNH Index

Bhutan GNH Index

Inspired by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck Inspired by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck
Launched 2005
Launched 2010
Country of Origin: USA
Country of origin: Bhutan
Scope: Global
Scope: Local
Generic secular socioeconomic policy framework advocating balanced development based on the cost/benefit ratio related to the mental and physical wellbeing of citizens". A tool for measuring the performance of government agencies
Customized socioeconomic development framework to protect Bhutan's Buddhist spiritual values and culture. A tool for measuring the performance of government agencies
Balances economic development with well-being
Favors spiritual and cultural values over economic development
Does not limit growth, but advocates cost/benefit ratio analysis in a multidimensional framework to measure the impact on societal well-being including parameters such as environmental pollution, social physical and mental health
Advocates economic de-growth, if it conflicts with culture and spiritual values. 
The first complete and integrated socioeconomic development policy framework with specific quantitative and qualitative indictors

The metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking seven development areas. The GNH total value is proposed to be an index function of the total average per capita of the following subjective and objective measures:

  1. Mental & Emotional Wellness

  2. Physical & Health Wellness

  3. Work & Income Wellness

  4. Social Relations Wellness

  5. Economic & Retirement Wellness

  6. Political & Government Wellness

  7. Living Environment Wellness

The GNH Index links government policies to life satisfaction (Subjective Well-being) via specific measures. But does not include religious or ideological components.


Index development and measurement framework The metric measures socioeconomic development by tracking 9 development areas.:
  1. Happiness - physical
  2. Mental and spiritual health
  3. Time-balance
  4. Social and community vitality
  5. Cultural vitality
  6. Education
  7.  Living standards
  8.  Good governance
  9. Ecological vitality

The above 9 areas where divided into 33 indicators.

The indicators are geared towards spiritual and cultural well-being. For example its psychological well-being dimension, includes measures of meditation, prayer recitation, and taking account of Karma indicators


The above seven metrics were incorporated into the first Global GNW / GNH Index Survey in 2005


No online link to the survey.

The GNH Index provided the blue print for future happiness and well-being indices. Some of the most popular indices that followed were locally customized versions of the GNH index.  To learn more, please visit Happiness Economics Timeline

Author: Alexandra Shepelinka, GNH  Institute, 2011

Sources: GNH Research Library



Related pages:




Creative Common License

Creative Common License - Happiness Institute - Gross National Happiness - GNH Index