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Girl looking at mountainsThe importance of GDP as a determinant of a nation’s progress begins to wane, making way for more holistic measures of progress and well-being based on measures such as personal safety, ecosystem sustainability, health and wellness, shelter, sanitation, equity, inclusion and personal freedom. As nations grapple with global challenges including climate change, chronic disease and rising inequality, the shift towards more multi-dimensional indicators represents a broader change in attitudes toward defining and measuring success.

 

 

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Bhutan, a tiny country at the foothills of the Himalayas, moved away from measuring national prosperity through the GDP lens way back in 1971. Instead it measures prosperity through a unique metric called Gross National Happiness (GNH). The GNH measures prosperity through the spiritual, physical, social, and environmental health of its citizens and the natural environment.

Source: “Gross national happiness in Bhutan: the big idea from a tiny state that could change the world,” The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/01/bhutan-wealth-happiness-counts.