The Happiness Alliance

Active Project? No
Year Project Began: 2010
Year of Last Input: 2017
Last Updated: Aug 13 2017
Project Location:
Seattle, WA
State / Province:
Lead Organization:
The Happiness Alliance
Type of Organization:
Nonprofit - Research

Geographic Scope

Neighborhood, Municipality, Metropolitan, State/Province, National

Issue Areas

Arts and Culture, Economy, Education, Environment, Equity, Governance, Happiness, Health & Wellbeing, Social


The Happiness Alliance, home of The Happiness Initiative and Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index, is a deeply grassroots organization. The Gross National Happiness Index is directly inspired by Bhutan and was first issued by us as Sustainable Seattle’s fifth set of sustainability indicators in 2010 for use by communities, cities, campuses and companies worldwide. In 2012, we spun-off from Sustainable Seattle and emerged as a not-for-profit serving individuals and groups, from municipalities to teams, with tools and resources including the Gross National Happiness Index. The survey was developed by a team of researchers at San Francisco State University.

The full set of Gross National Happiness Index data is available for the use of researchers and students with proper attribution and agreement to our Happiness Data Privacy and Protection Agreement.

Has Perfomance Measures?

The indicators measure performance for Satisfaction with Life, Affect and ten domains of happiness/well-being: Material Well-being - Evaluates individual and family income, financial security, the level of debt, employment security, and the quality of housing. Physical Health - Measures the effectiveness of health policies, with criteria such as self-rated health, disability, patterns of risk behavior, exercise, sleep, nutrition, etc. Time Balance - 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 and in educational activities. Psychological Well-being - 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. Education and Learning - Considers several factors such as participation in formal and informal education, development of skills and capabilities, involvement in children’s education, values education and environmental education. Cultural Vitality - Evaluates local traditions, festival, core values, participation in cultural events, opportunities to develop artistic skills and discrimination due to religion, race or gender. Environmental Quality - Measures the perception of citizens about the quality of their water, air, soil, forest cover, biodiversity, etc. The indicators include access to green areas and system of waste management and transportation. Governance - 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. Community Vitality - 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. Workplace Experience - Evaluates employment satisfaction, work-life balance, job conditions, productivity and compensation.

Project URL

Project Contact:

Laura Musikanski
The Happiness Initiative - Educational Organization
Seattle USA