the Government says it will use the Index to help set economic policies, and one of the key findings from the survey released today was that the highest ratings of life satisfaction were found in the remote Scottish Isles- the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland Islands.
As the government develops its housing policies, its good to know that new houses built in remote places will make people happier – they may be retired or unemployed but they will still be happy, perhaps growing their own food or teleworking.
While much of the data in the survey results seems intuitive, it is important to have the statistical backing to show why we need to expand our metrics beyond GDP. For instance, the survey shows that people that work less are more happy, indicating that policies encouraging a work-life balance would have strong support. As Prime Minister David Cameron said when explaining the initiative, “Wellbeing can’t be measured by money or traded in markets. It’s about the beauty of our surroundings, the quality of our culture and, above all, the strength of our relationships. Improving our society’s sense of wellbeing is, I believe, the central political challenge of our times.”
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