Announcing a new article that shows how Sustainable Development and Happiness Indicators work together.
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International institutions, national governments and communities are promoting and measuring happiness in various ways. However, as of the writing of this article, there is not an agreed upon happiness index that institutions, governments, and communities use to gather and compare data. On the other hand, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which have a set of indicators commonly shared by institutions, governments, and communities, do not explicitly consider happiness even though SDG Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being references well-being.
In this article, we construct an Aggregated Happiness Index (AHI) based on five indices in use and applied at different governance levels. Based on common domains and indicators from these indices, the AHI is composed of twelve domains, thirty-one indicators and distinguishes between objective and subjective indicators.
The AHI domains and indicators are benchmarked against the SDGs goals and indicators respectively using a grading schema based on a traffic light. Our analysis reveals that at the domain level the SDGs cover 66.7% of the AHI, however the coverage at indicator level drops to 48.6%. The SDGs indicators cover 61.1% of the AHI objective indicators and 17.9% of the AHI subjective indicators.
Major gaps are found in the domains of community & social support, subjective well-being and time balance. We found a lack of subjective metrics in other domains, including economic standard of living and health. We discuss the opportunities and drawbacks of approaching SDGs and happiness metrics separately or synergistically.
Given the potential benefits of integrating both approaches, we propose the framework we term SDGs for Happiness composed of 18 indicators of which 61.1% are subjective that should be considered in addition to the SDG indicators to measure happiness within the SDGs.