Happiness Index taking over from GDP

Happiness Index taking over from GDP

Move over GDP and GNP. GWI or Gross Well-being Index may finally become the defining international statistical measure.

Economists, including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, will launch on Wednesday the world’s first concrete bid to measure individual happiness and well-being across countries and continents. It will supplement the traditional UN and World Bank indicators of national income, consumer nirvana and Gross Domestic Product.

The landmark development, focusing on human well-being instead of wealth, resulted from research undertaken in Kerala.

Economists at the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), a new economic research centre within the department of international development at Oxford University, are proposing a shortlist of questions on well-being. The questions could figure in the 2010 census worldwide if the benchmark International Household Survey network based in the World Bank agrees to the proposal.

This is the first time some of the world’s most respected economists as well as leading figures from World Bank, UN and World Health Organisation are seriously trying to introduce a new measure of assessing poverty – in terms of happiness.

Go happiness!

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