Over the weekend, we caught a little bit of what promises to be a fascinating experience on BBC World – a six-part series profiling research from around the world on what makes humans happy. The Happiness Formula trails scientists who say they know how to measure happiness and are piecing together what they believe really makes us happy. Should be interesting.
The subject of happiness in Singapore has I’m sure been explored by policy-makers. But unlike economic indicators, comparative indices of national happiness ratings do not seem to be part of the official statistics. This gap is surprising given the ‘social’ context in Singapore’s Statistics agency’s mission as cited on its website:
We develop and manage a national statistical information system of quality and integrity to support Singapore’s social and economic development.
Huichieh’s views and the associated debate is worth mulling over. Although normally the idea of governments having a role to play in personal happiness seems counter intuitive, when government policy influences so much of personal and family life, the connection (and responsibility) seems less unreasonable.
Is it time to consider an additional dimension of life-context to what seems to be relentless pursuit of economic growth?