National Accounts of Well-being
Bringing Real Wealth onto the Balance Sheet
new economics foundation | February 12, 2009It has long been recognized that GDP—the standard measure of national income, relied on by politicians and commentators to assess the progress of nations—fails as a meaningful measure of social progress. It values only crude increases in income and takes no account of how fairly resources are distributed or the social and environmental damage caused by growth. A growing range of academics, commentators, and politicians have been calling for new measures of progress. Now, New Economics Foundation has responded by producing the first-ever National Accounts of Well-being.
National Accounts of Well-being: bringing real wealth onto the balance sheet is the most comprehensive international analysis of well-being ever produced. It surveys 22 European countries, measuring both personal and social well-being. Personal well-being describes people's experiences of their positive and negative emotions, satisfaction, vitality, resilience, self-esteem, and sense of purpose and meaning. Social well-being is made up of two main components: supportive relationships, and trust and belonging, both of which are critical elements of overall well-being.
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