Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Zealand Does Its Own Happiness Study

A sheep on a quest to Mordor. From Wicked Campers.
Continuing the theme from yesterday, the New Zealand Herald reports that New Zealand has published its own national happiness study. The 18-month study, entitled "Working Towards Higher Living Standards for New Zealanders," says, "Treasury's role as a central agency with oversight over all significant policy issues across the state sector has also led it to acknowledge that living standards are broader than income alone, and are determined by a wide range of material and non-material factors."

Ross McDonald, a senior lecturer at the University of Auckland Business School, says that he hopes the study will provide good advice to politicians. For instance, the study could lessen the move toward increasing work hours. "We've got to get out of the mindset that sees growing economies as our ultimate purpose in life," he says.

The news story doesn't go into detail about how New Zealand conducted this study, but if it's anything like other Gross National Happiness measures, they probably sent out thousands of questionnaires to citizens, asking them about their life satisfaction. As always, click on my Gross National Happiness tag to see all the other countries that are into this sort of thing, and which ones are holding out.


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