Monday, November 15, 2010

Britain to Start Measuring People's Happiness

I wonder if surveyors will be happy with the task of
surveying all these Brits. From The Guardian.
Happy Monday everyone! I didn't do anything special for my birthday...except surf for the first time a few days before! Although maybe I shouldn't describe what I did as "surfing." It was more like "falling off." Also, not being a California native, it strikes me as utterly bizarre that the climate here allows me to surf in the ocean in the middle of November.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Britain. According to this story from the Sydney Morning Herald, Britain will soon measure happiness, similar to what Bhutan does with their Gross National Happiness metric. Prime Minister David Cameron has wanted to measure the "general wellbeing" of his country for awhile, and now the Office of National Statistics will  actually carry out the policy.

On November 25, national statistician Jil Matheson will come up with new happiness questions to put on next year's national survey. In addition to happiness, the survey will also cover how close respondents are to achieving their life goals. This survey can lead to good things, because as I've reported in the past, Britain's happiness levels have dipped, and at other times the country has had strange opinions about the topic.

What do you think of this? Would you like to see happiness taken seriously in your country? Do you have any surfing tips? Any opinions would be appreciated!


  1. The main thing I see Governments should act (or limit) themselves on is the more Freedom the Government does not restrict, the happier people tend to be.

  2. Oh Happy Belated Birthday, Derek! Hope you had a HAPPY one :)

    As for the British Gov.'s idea, I think it's fabulous one! I'm really curious to see what kind of info we can all get from it!

  3. Yeah, Enric, that helps a lot. No one wants to be oppressed!

    And THANK YOU Julia! Yes, surfing with Roko was excellent. I'm also curious about what surveys like this will show.