Social Indicators Research

, Volume 129, Issue 1, pp 465–487 | Cite as

The Composite Global Well-Being Index (CGWBI): A New Multi-Dimensional Measure of Human Development

  • Jad ChaabanEmail author
  • Alexandra Irani
  • Alexander Khoury


This paper develops a new indicator for human development, the Composite Global Well-Being Index (CGWBI), spanning ten well-being dimensions: safety and security, health, education, housing, environment and living space, employment, income, life satisfaction, community and social life, and civic engagement. The index includes both subjective survey data and socio-economic indicators, and uses the same methodology as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index, by extending it to developing countries. The paper’s results show that the devised CGWBI is highly correlated with the widely used Human Development Index (HDI); however, the CGWBI is less sensitive to income effects than the HDI. The CGWBI provides therefore an improvement over the HDI, by covering additional key well-being dimensions and minimizing the impact of per capita income on overall human development rankings.


Human Development Index Development Indicators Well-being Subjective data Life satisfaction 



We would like to thank the United Nations Development Programme for providing us access to the Gallup World Poll Data under the framework of its 2015 Arab Human Development Report research projects. We also would like to thank the two referees for very useful comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jad Chaaban
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexandra Irani
    • 1
  • Alexander Khoury
    • 1
  1. 1.American University of BeirutBeirutLebanon

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