WellBeing News


Over the last twenty years (that is, this century), there has been an explosion of interest in measuring “happiness” and “subjective well-being.” These measurements are beginning to be used in the development of public policy. Bhutan is commonly regarded as a leader in the field, but the phrase “Gross National Happiness” was first used by Sicco Mansholt, one of the founders of the European Union, in 1972. Bhutan only formally established a Gross National Happiness index as national policy in 2008. But Bhutan has since become an important rallying center for reports and studies of happiness and subjective well-being. For example, the World Happiness Report, first produced in 2012 and published by the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Solutions Network, had its origins in a planning meeting in Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu, in the summer of 2011. This meeting was held to prepare for a session on “Well-being and Happiness: Defining a New Economic Paradigm” to be held at the UN in April 2012.