GDP Was Soooo 2001: New Standard of Living Indicators

GDP Was Soooo 2001: New Standard of Living Indicators

Tiffany Finley
Feb 8, 2011

This past month marked monumental change in the way we value money, and it just may have opened up the door for valuing global sustainability. The Gross Domestic Product is being ushered out by new indicator systems that value societal health, culture, and the environment as equal to economics. So just what are these new indicators proposing?

First of all, a little history: GDP's original measuring standard only included goods and services that translated into money, and didn't consider factors like connected communities, ecological wonders, and good health. They certainly impact our standard of living, and they most definitely play a role in our happiness. A new global poll across 12 countries reveals that more than two-thirds of people polled think that economic statistics like GDP are an inadequate way of measuring national progress.

Possible replacements for the GDP include the Genuine Progress Indicator, Canada's Index of Wellbeing, The Happy Planet Index, and the Green Gross Domestic Product developed in China. With the survey reaching around the globe, both industrialized and developing countries have identified these inclusions as not only a good idea, but as a necessary idea.

Just think: green design wouldn't be just a fad, but rather a part of our global standard of living calculations! Landis' journey to Live with Less is a great example of how more "stuff" does not equal more happiness, and how to work through our "stuff" addiction.

What would be in your own new GDP standard?

Survey: Survey by GlobeScan and Ethical Markets

Images: Elgvin

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