Gross National Happiness

Bhutan’s development philosophy is based on Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than GDP. The concept was introduced in 1972 by King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, and the Constitution of Bhutan (2008, Article 9) directs the state to promote conditions that enable the pursuit of GNH. GNH has been a guiding principle in Bhutanese minds for four decades, and its planning documents guide the country’s economic and development plans.

A country’s overall quality is measured by its Gross National Happiness (GNH), which emphasizes both material and spiritual progress. In Bhutan, GNH stands for a set of principles and objectives that direct institutions and public policy. It examines individuals who are happy and those who are not, analyzing people’s wellbeing in sustainable ways. Taking into account spiritual, social, cultural, and ecological viewpoints, GNH offers policy recommendations to improve happiness. These priceless resources that enhance pleasure and contentment must be protected by the government.

The Fifth King, His Majesty Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, stated in his coronation address, “I have been inspired in the way I look at things by Bhutan’s development philosophy of Gross National Happiness. To me, it signifies simply “Development with Values.”

Under His Majesty King guidance, Gross National Happiness (GNH) is implemented through the government’s policy of “low volume and high value tourism”, promoting and preserving traditional and cultural values.

Several national and international GNH centers:

  • Center for Bhutan Studies, Bhutan.
  • Spirit in Business, USA and the Netherlands.
  • Social Venture Network Asia, Thailand.
  • ICONS, Redefining Progress & Implementing New Indicators on sustainable Development, BRAZIL.
  • Inner Asia Center for Sustainable Development, the Netherlands.
  • The New Economics Foundation, United Kingdom.
  • Genuine Progress Indicators/GPI Atlantic, Canada.
  • Corptools/Values center, USA.
  • International Society for Ecology and Culture, United Kingdom.