The world has come a long way since the first World Happiness Report launched in 2012. Increasingly happiness is considered a proper measure of social progress and the goal of public policy. A rapidly increasing number of national and local governments are using happiness data and research in their search for policies that could enable people to live better lives. Governments are measuring subjective well-being and using well-being research as a guide to the design of public spaces and the delivery of public services.
The year 2015 is a watershed for humanity, with the pending adoption by UN member states of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September to help guide the world community towards a more inclusive and sustainable pattern of global development. The concepts of happiness and well-being are very likely to help guide progress towards sustainable development.
Sustainable development is a normative concept, calling for all societies to balance economic, social, and environmental objectives. When countries pursue GDP in a lopsided manner, overriding social and environmental objectives, the results often negatively impact human wellbeing.
The SDGs are designed to help countries to achieve economic, social, and environmental objectives in harmony, thereby leading to higher levels of well-being for the present and future generations.
The World Happiness Report 2015 once again underscores the fruitfulness of using happiness measurements for guiding policymaking and for helping to assess the overall well-being in each society.
The 2015 World Happiness Report and supplemental files are available for download for free.