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nef has set out a radical proposal to guide the direction of modern societies and the lives of people who live in them. In contrast to a narrow focus on economic indicators, it calls for governments to directly measure people’s subjective well-being: their experiences, feelings and perceptions of how their lives are going. These measures should be collected on a regular, systematic basis and published as National Accounts of Well-being. They provide a new way of assessing societal progress, based on people’s real experience of their lives.

As the famous Robert Kennedy quote shows, the limitations of economic measures have long been recognised. National Accounts of Well-being now provide a way to establish a much more meaningful measure of national success.

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In addition, you can download our National Accounts of Well-being report which gives full references for all research findings cited on this website. You can also view links to other research related to our work on well-being accounts.

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