For many years, it has been Bhutan's official policy to place happiness above economic prosperity. Religious/spiritual influence on public policy is an interesting feature of Bhutanese governance.
According to a PBS report:
- 95 per cent of Bhutanese exchange students return to their home country because they like it there.
- A 1995 law mandates that 60 percent of Bhutan's land must remain forested (while another 26 percent is already protected as parkland)
- Bhutan spends almost 18 percent of national budget on education and health care (compared with only 2 to 3 percent for China)
The one set of traffic lights Bhutan ever had was on this junction. But people found them frustrating, so they went back to a human being. Here are more glimpses of Bhutan's happiness policy in action.