Intended for healthcare professionals


UK sets out to measure happiness alongside GDP

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 26 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6824
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

The UK government has announced that it is to start measuring the nation’s wellbeing as well as its gross domestic product.

Following the lead of France and the kingdom of Bhutan, the prime minister, David Cameron, announced on 25 November that the national statistical system would start gathering measures of the quality of people’s lives and how contented they felt.

Launching the idea at the Treasury, Mr Cameron said, “It’s high time we admitted that, taken on its own, GDP is an incomplete way of measuring a nation’s progress.”

Denying that the idea was a bit airy fairy and impractical, he said that “just as GDP didn’t give …

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