Given the continual stagnation of the US economy, it’s not surprising the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has become a questionable measure of our country’s worth. But what should take its place?
For some time, the small Buddhist nation of Bhutan has preferred Gross National Happiness (GNH) as an indicator of progress—a reflection of the culture’s preference for emotional well-being over the production of goods and services. In the US, the American Human Development Project has identified several American measures of well-being—health, education, and income—to create a new way of measuring our country’s worth: the Human Development (HD) Index, shown in the map, above, which links to the entry page for the map.
I visited the web site of the American Human Development Project and explored their detailed, interactive maps. The indexes reveal dramatically different levels of well-being across the US, depending on such factors as geographical location,