Measuring Community Well-Being and Individual Well-Being for Public Policy: The Case of the Community Well-Being Atlas

  • Yunji Kim
  • Kai LudwigsEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


The Gross Domestic Product as an indicator of social progress has several limitations. One of the most serious limitations is it equates consumption to progress. Community well-being can be an alternative framework for measuring progress, but there are several barriers to adopting this framework. In this chapter, we focus on the measurement barriers. Measuring community well-being is difficult for the following three reasons. First, the definition of community well-being and its constructs are unclear. Second, its relationship with individual well-being is vague. Third, data at the community level are limited. All of these make it difficult to employ community well-being in policymaking and long-term planning. We introduce the Community Well-being Atlas – an international project to measure community well-being in cities – as a way to overcome these barriers. The Atlas includes theory-driven data on community well-being and individual well-being. Moreover, the use of smartphone technology to collect geographic data and build panels can be useful for policymaking and long-term planning.


Community well-being Subjective well-being Well-being indicators Social progress Public policy 



This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (NRF-2016S1A3A2924563). The authors thank Lena Henning for her insightful comments on earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Happiness Research OrganisationDuesseldorfGermany

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