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A Gross Happiness Index for the Solomon Islands and Tonga: an Exploratory Study


A nation’s wellbeing is dependent on a broad range of factors including economic performance, quality of life, the state of the environment, sustainability, equality, as well as cultural capital. Increasingly, there has been a recognition that measurements such as gross domestic product do not capture the overall wellbeing of a nation’s citizens. Using a modified version of Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index, this research calculates a Gross Happiness Index for the Solomon Islands and Tonga, one country in Melanesia and the other in Polynesia. The findings show that Tongans tend to be happier than Solomon Islanders. While there are some life domains in which both countries are lacking, there are other dimensions where each country can focus on to improve citizen wellbeing. Because the sampling is non-random in nature, the findings are only indicative. A more systematic sampling technique would enable the findings to be more generalizable. Nevertheless, the research has shown that an instrument such as the Gross Happiness Index is a useful tool with which to assess a nation’s wellbeing and provide actionable recommendations for improved happiness.

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Correspondence to Stephen Pratt.

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Pratt, S. A Gross Happiness Index for the Solomon Islands and Tonga: an Exploratory Study. Glob Soc Welf 3, 11–21 (2016).

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  • Gross National Happiness Index
  • Quality of life
  • Wellbeing
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tonga