The Gross National Happiness Survey PDF Print E-mail

Take the Survey!

The Survey is available for anyone in any region to take. One of the queries is a zip code field. This allows us to gather data for any region. Please feel free to take the survey wherever you are and forward it to your friends.

Survey results for May 27, 2011

Domains of Happiness All responses (6474) Seattle Area
Decorah, IA
Material Well Being 73 73 69
Governance  58 58 58 62
Environment  46 46 50
Psychological Wellbeing  78 78 82 81
Health  67 67 67 72
Time Balance  43 43 47 50
Cultural Vitality  65 64 66 70
Community Vitality 65 65 74 77
Education 55 55 55 58
Overall Wellbeing 67 66 69 72

*Gross National Happiness USA is a movement to change what we measure from Wealth to Well-Being. GNHUSA is working with Vermont as a laboratory for conversation about GNH ideas, implementing Well-Being surveys and developing policy tools. www.gnhusa.org

How happy are you?  The Gross National Happiness Index survey helps you or your organization assess whether your life is getting better or worse today and in the future.It helps all of us assess our sustainability along the nine domains of happiness, and to inspire us to take action. We want to hear what actions you take after you take the survey: email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Visit the comments page.

How healthy is your organization, group or team? The survey helps an organization asses its well-being now and in the long term. A code can be provided for organizations and aggregate results on request. We do not supply  lists of individual results for an organization so as to protect individuals personal data.  Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for a referrer code.  Codes expired after two months.  

How happy is our region? A scientific survey conducted by a third party will reveal statistically significant results for our region. These results, paired with objective metrics, will be useful for individuals seeking to know how they compare to others in our region. It will also be useful for policy makers and agencies seeking to take action. We plan to conduct a scientific survey this year. Donate to help with this effort!

What about other languages?
We are working with volunteers to translate the survey into various languages. We are also working to gather funds to translate they survey into the many diverse languages spoken by immigrants and refugees in our region. If you would like to help translate the survey, please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Survey Methodology 
During the fall of 2006 Mike and Martha Pennock of Victoria British Columbia were funded by the United Nations Development Program and the International Development Research Centre (Canada) to spend three months at the Centre for Bhutan Studies in Thimphu Bhutan to support the development of a survey-based measure of the Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Bhutan is a Buddhist nation and “happiness” within the Bhutanese culture is analogous to the notion of “wellbeing” in North America, and is broadly defined as “satisfaction with life”.

The overall GNH framework included the key contributors to happiness/wellbeing. These contributors had been identified through international conferences which brought together empirical researchers from a variety of disciplines to identify the critical factors that lead to happiness/wellbeing in human populations in different cultures- health, social and community vitality, time balance, cultural vitality, quality of governance, ecological vitality and material wellbeing.

The final Bhutanese survey was very long and focused upon the Bhutanese culture. Given wide spread interest in the concept of GNH the Pennocks agreed to develop a shorter generic version of the survey for use in western communities. The initial revised version of this instrument was tested in Greater Victoria in 2008 and a number of revisions were made based upon those results. A Brazilian version has also been developed and tested.

Both the Bhutanese and western versions of the survey made extensive use of items from a number of international surveys to support the comparability of results. This also ensured that many of the items have been validated in cross-cultural settings. One advantage of this survey is that it is the only instrument that includes measures of wellbeing as well as the primary contributors to wellbeing.

Contributors to the Survey
Mike Pennock, MASc. Vancouver Island Health Authority
Martha Pennock, MHSc. GPI Atlantic
Kama Ura, DPhil, Centre for Bhutan Studies
Ron Colman, PhD. GPI Atlantic
John Helliwell, PhD. University of British Columbia
Fred Grouzet, PhD. University of Victoria
Research Staff at Centre for Bhutan Studies

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