Bhutanese happier, GNH survey shows
T he happiness of the Bhutanese people increased from 2010 to 2015, according to the provisional findings of 2015 GNH survey.
The GNH index saw an increase by 1.7 percent, from 0.743 in 2010 to 0.756 in 2015.
The GNH index identifies a person as happy if he or she achieves sufficiency in 66 percent of the domains of GNH.
The percentage of population categorized as deeply happy – those who enjoy sufficiency between 77 percent and 100 percent – has increased from 8.3 in 2010 to 8.4 in 2015. And the good change is that the percentage of people who identified themselves as unhappy in 2010 (10.4) has decreased to 8.8 percent in 2015.
Tshoki Zangmo, an official from CBS said that GNH cannot be measured or defined by a simple question of how people feel. If it is the case than the happiness of people will change frequently as they experience different circumstances, she added.
The findings also show that dzongkhags like Samdrup Jongkhar, Bumthang, Lhuntse and Pema Gatshel had a significant increase in happiness.
In terms of GNH index by area, the happiness percentage of people living in urban areas has increased. The living standard has also improved in urban areas.
However, community vitality has weakened in these areas.
Forty-three percent of the Bhutanese people belong to either the extensively happy or deeply happy group.
Healthy days for the people have improved greatly, with more than 10 percent of the population experiencing improvements.
The report also states that there were statistically significant changes in 26 indicators from 33 GNH indicators.
The 12 indicators saw significantly better changes, while 14 indicators gave negative results. At the same time, seven indicators remained the same.
From the nine domains, noticeable changes occurred in community vitality and health.
The percentage contribution of the community vitality domain has decreased from 12.40 percent in 2010 to 11.56 percent in 2015.
However, health contribution has improved from 12.88 percent to 1.21 percent.
Some of the indicators that did not show any change between 2010 and 2015 are disability, work, schooling, knowledge, artisan skills and ability to speak the native language and urbanization issues.
Dagana and Sarpang dzongkhags saw a relative change in GNH index.
The highest significant change was seen in Samdrup Jongkhar where happiness increased by 13 percent and least was seen in Dagana dzongkhag which saw a decrease in GNH index by nine percent.
The 2015 GNH index value is 0.756 compared to 2010 GNH index of 0.743 percent.