This survey offers you an enjoyable way to learn just how well you are doing in the nine domains of happiness identified by researchers around the world! These include:
When you complete this survey, you will receive an instantaneous well-being score (!) for each of these domains and you will be able to compare your score with the median results for others who have taken the survey. You will find that the 135 questions in this survey will encourage you to think about your life in new ways and about what you can do to be happier.
This survey takes 20-30 minutes to complete and you cannot stop and start over, so do the survey when you have a period of free time. It is the length of the survey that allows it to give you a comprehensive picture of your well-being in comparison to others.
Overall data from this survey will be analyzed and provided to media but your individual data will not be revealed to others. We ask for demographic data so we can analyze overall results, but we do not ask for your name, address, etc. Your privacy will be protected.
We follow the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC (European Union): Personal data collected for this survey is used only for the purposes of the project and as a part of an aggregate. All data is kept secure and individual responses are not shared.
In 1991, Sustainable Seattle became the first organization in the United States to develop local indicators of well-being as an alternative to GDP. To do it, we partnered with dozens of other local organizations and agencies. Our work led to similar projects in more than 100 American cities and name recognition around the world. On the eve of our 20th anniversary, Sustainable Seattle is again taking the lead, as we begin to collect and publicize the first set of happiness (or well-being) indicators for any city in the United States. Together with our partners in the Seattle Area Happiness Index, we are creating a model of survey results and metrics for well-being and social justice that can be replicated in any city to catalyze citizen dialogue and action in pursuit of happiness — sustainability and love.
- Sustainabile Seattle
The Survey is available for anyone in any region to take. One of the queries is a zip code field. This allows us to gather data for any region. Please feel free to take the survey wherever you are and forward it to your friends.
We are gathering resources to conduct a survey that will provide scientifically valid results. This survey will be conducted by a professional polling agency, survey a random sample of the Seattle Area population and provide statistically significant results. Those who take this survey will receive an invitation.
The publicly available survey is available to anyone. We suspect that as the number of people who take the survey grows, the results will be close to those a scientific survey will reveal. Each week, we will post the number of surveys taken and the result
How happy are you?
The Gross National Happiness Index survey helps you or your organization assess whether your life is getting better or worse today and in the future. It helps all of us assess our sustainability along the nine domains of happiness, and to inspire us to take action. We want to hear what actions you take after you take the survey: email happyATsustainableseattleDOTorg Visit the comments page.
How happy is our region?
A scientific survey conducted by a third party will reveal statistically significant results for our region. These results, paired with objective metrics, will be useful for individuals seeking to know how they compare to others in our region. It will also be useful for policy makers and agencies seeking to take action. We plan to conduct a scientific survey this year. Donate to help with this effort!
How healthy is your organization, group or team?
The survey helps an organization asses its well-being now and in the long term. A code can be provided for organizations and aggregate results on request. We do not supply lists of individual results for an organization so as to protect individuals personal data. Contact happyATsustainableseattleDOTorg for a referrer code.
Suggested donations for referrer codes:
up to 50 members or annual revenues under $10,000: donation of $25 per code
up to 100 members or annual revenues under $50,000: donation of $50 per code
up to 500 members or annual revenues under $250,000: donation of $150 per code
up to 750 members or annual revenues under $500,000: donation of $400 per code
more than 750r members or annual revenues over $500,000: donation of $700 per code
*Members include staff, volunteers, constituents or others in a group.
**Codes expired after two months.
Donations are used to fund the program and ensure the survey is publicly available.
What about other languages?
We are working with volunteers to translate the survey into various languages. We are also working to gather funds to translate they survey into the many diverse languages spoken by immigrants and refugees in our region. If you would like to help translate the survey, please contact us at happyATsustainableseattleDOTorg
During the fall of 2006 Mike and Martha Pennock of Victoria British Columbia were funded by the United Nations Development Program and the International Development Research Centre (Canada) to spend three months at the Centre for Bhutan Studies in Thimphu Bhutan to support the development of a survey-based measure of the Bhutanese concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Bhutan is a Buddhist nation and “happiness” within the Bhutanese culture is analogous to the notion of “wellbeing” in North America, and is broadly defined as “satisfaction with life”.
The overall GNH framework included the key contributors to happiness/wellbeing. These contributors had been identified through international conferences which brought together empirical researchers from a variety of disciplines to identify the critical factors that lead to happiness/wellbeing in human populations in different cultures- health, social and community vitality, time balance, cultural vitality, quality of governance, ecological vitality and material wellbeing.
The final Bhutanese survey was very long and focused upon the Bhutanese culture. Given wide spread interest in the concept of GNH the Pennocks agreed to develop a shorter generic version of the survey for use in western communities. The initial revised version of this instrument was tested in Greater Victoria in 2008 and a number of revisions were made based upon those results. A Brazilian version has also been developed and tested.
Both the Bhutanese and western versions of the survey made extensive use of items from a number of international surveys to support the comparability of results. This also ensured that many of the items have been validated in cross-cultural settings. One advantage of this survey is that it is the only instrument that includes measures of wellbeing as well as the primary contributors to wellbeing.
Contributors to the Survey
Mike Pennock, MASc. Vancouver Island Health Authority
Martha Pennock, MHSc. GPI Atlantic
Kama Ura, DPhil, Centre for Bhutan Studies
Ron Colman, PhD. GPI Atlantic
John Helliwell, PhD. University of British Columbia
Fred Grouzet, PhD. University of Victoria
Research Staff at Centre for Bhutan Studies
Assesses the degree of satisfaction and optimism in individual life. The indicators analyze self-esteem, sense of competence, stress, spiritual activities and prevalence of positive and negative emotions.
Measures the effectiveness of health policies, with criteria such as self-rated health, disability, patterns of risk behavior, exercise, sleep, nutrition, etc.
The use of time is one of the most significant factors in quality of life, especially time for recreation and socializing with family and friends. A balanced management of time is evaluated, including time spent in traffic jams, at work, in educational activities, etc.
Focuses on relationships and interactions in communities. Examines the level of confidence, the sense of belonging, the vitality of affectionate relationships, safety at home and in the community, and the practice of giving and volunteering.
Takes into account several factors such as participation in formal and informal education, development of skills and capabilities, involvement in children’s education, values education, environmental education, etc.
Evaluates local traditions, festival, core values, participation in cultural events, opportunities to develop artistic skills and discrimination due to religion, race or gender.
Measures the perception of citizens about the quality of their water, air, soil, forest cover, biodiversity, etc. The indicators include access to green areas, system of waste management, etc.
Assesses how the population views the government, the media, the judiciary, the electoral system, and the police, in terms of responsibility, honesty and transparency. It also measures involvement of citizens in community decisions and political processes.
Evaluates individual and family income, financial security, the level of debt, employment security, the quality of housing, etc