Happiness Index

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Does relentlessly criticising Australia’s human rights record risk doing more harm than good? Courntey Biggs/AAP

Is Australia as bad as IS? Skewed criticism may leave you wondering

Australia's human rights record isn't perfect, but it still good. if Australians aren't able to take some pride in that and be inspired to do even better, over-the-top criticism could backfire.
Smile, though your heart is aching. Morgan

Why happiness is not enough to replace GDP

The idea that data on happiness and well-being can be used to guide government policy has steadily gained popularity over the past decade. But as we seek ways to replace, or at least complement GDP as…
Is this really the kind of society we want? zoomar

The happiness agenda makes for miserable policy

How happy do you feel today? How satisfied are you with your life? Do you think your life has any worth? These are the kind of questions increasingly put to survey respondents as academics and politicians…
Bhutan has built its economy and society on preserving the environment. Jean-Marie Hullot

Bhutan’s environmental success is a pleasing paradox

In a time of diminishing global biodiversity, Bhutan’s conservation achievements read like an environmentalist’s heavenly dream. More than 50% of its land area is designated as protected in national parks…
There’s more to life than buying stuff. Steve Parsons/PA

Austerity may have breathed new life into true happiness

We are now five years into the largest financial crisis in decades and yet, paradoxically, people don’t seem to be more unhappy than they were before. The UK ranked 10th of the countries surveyed for the…
Sadness is a natural human emotion. D Sharon Pruitt/Flickr.

Is the promotion of happiness making us sad?

Western culture places an extraordinary emphasis on happiness – and continuous happiness – as the goal each of us should strive for in our lives. But we’re increasingly realising this goal may actually…
Bhutan has pursued a measurement of Gross National Happiness as well as economic indicators. AAP

Happiness: the real purpose of economic development?

In recent weeks, while global financial markets threatened to implode, looters rampaged through the streets of London, and the British Prime Minister David Cameron reflected darkly on the dangers of a…

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