Gross National Happiness

Bhutan has found a unique and impressive way to keep a balance between modernization and centuries-old culture and tradition, based on the guiding philosophy of "Gross National Happiness". The growth of Gross National Happiness is enshrined in the Constitution and stands on 4 pillars: sustainable and equitable economic growth and development, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, conservation and protection of the environment as well as good governance.

His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck introduced the Gross National Happiness in 1998 because he recognized that economic success does not automatically lead to a happy and prosperous society. This understanding of development, which also has its deeper roots in Buddhism, envisions an overall satisfaction of the people and harmony between society and the environment. This stands in contrast to the western, capitalist economic models targeted only at maximum profit.

Every citizen is asked to determine what is important to the people and where they see development needs. All legislative proposals are reviewed by the Gross National Happiness Commission as to their compatibility with the concept of Gross National Happiness.