The World Happiness Report is a measure of happiness published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy.
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation.
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In July 2011, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution inviting member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use this to help guide their public policies.
The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation.
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On April 2, 2012, this was followed by the first UN High Level Meeting on "Happiness and Well-Being: Defining a New Economic Paradigm," which was chaired by Prime Minister Jigme Thinley of Bhutan, the first and so far only country to have officially adopted gross national happiness instead of gross domestic product as their main development indicator.
Gross domestic product is a monetary measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced in a period.
Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a sovereign state landlocked in the Eastern Himalayas in South Asia.
Dasho Jigme Yoser Thinley was the Prime Minister of Bhutan from April 2008 to April 2013.
The first World Happiness Report was released on April 1, 2012 as a foundational text for the meeting.
It drew international attention as the world's first global happiness survey.
The report outlined the state of world happiness, causes of happiness and misery, and policy implications highlighted by case studies.
In September 2013 the second World Happiness Report offered the first annual follow-up and reports are now issued every year.
The report uses data from the Gallup World Poll.
Each annual report is available to the public on the World Happiness Report website.
In the reports, leading experts in several fields--economics, psychology, survey analysis, national statistics, and more--describe how measurements of well-being can be used effectively to assess the progress of nations.
Economics is a social science concerned with the factors that determine the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.
Psychology is the study of behavior and mind, embracing all aspects of conscious and unconscious experience as well as thought.
Each report is organized by chapters that delve deeper into issues relating to happiness, including mental illness, the objective benefits of happiness, the importance of ethics, policy implications, and links with the OECD's approach to measuring subjective well-being and the Human Development Report.