Bhutan Dynasty Of Happiness

His Majesty, Jigme Singye Wangchuckthe, the 4th King of Bhutan was just a teenager when he took the throne. He changed history by imagining that Bhutan’s should pursue the path to Gross National Happiness, not a high GDP.

The idea of Gross National Happiness (GNH) took modern shape in the 1970s under His Majesty the 4th King when he challenged conventional, narrow and materialistic notions of human progress. He realized and declared that the existing development paradigm (GDP) did not consider the ultimate goal of every human being: happiness. His Majesty the 4th King believed that Bhutan needs such imagination, such courage, and such creativity again.

During the Fourth King’s reign, GNH was not institutionalized. It depended on people who had intuitively internalized GNH and worked from their values to build it.

In the Fifth King’s reign and as a new democracy, GNH emerged as a development philosophy that shapes government policies and programmes. A keystone of that philosophy is the GNH Index, which gives visibility and form to this aim of Bhutan.

Bhutan’s GNH Index was developed in 2010 by Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH Research. The index takes into consideration the country’s specific Buddhist cultural and spiritual values when developing and measuring the impact of socioeconomic development policies. The Bhutan GNH Index also include indicators for Karma and Prayers citations.

In 2015, a total of 91.2% of Bhutanese were narrowly, extensively, or deeply happy. 43.4% were extensively or deeply happy. The aim is for all Bhutanese to be extensively or deeply happy. Bhutan is closer to achieving that aim in 2015 than it was in 2010.