New research shows a possible link between sustainable development and well-being.
Sustainable development may make people happier. According to new research from the University of Oxford, progress towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which cover objectives ranging from climate change adaptation to the eradication of poverty, has a positive correlation with wellbeing.
The research paper, which analyses data from the SDG Index together with subjective evaluations of wellbeing from the Gallup World Poll, is jointly authored by Dr. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, associate professor of economics at the Saïd Business School and Director of the Wellbeing Research Centre at Oxford, and leading development economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development at Columbia University.
Published in Nature's Scientific Reports, the paper suggests that countries with a higher SDG Index score tend to also do better in terms of subjective well-being, with Nordic countries topping both rankings. The authors’ findings suggest that as countries become richer, the wellbeing of their citizens appears to stagnate unless further economic growth is made more sustainable by, for example, addressing inequality.