Methods of Measuring Human Well-being and Human Development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The aim of this chapter is to present innovations associated with the linkage of statistics and well-being and human development, where the contexts of application are poor countries, and where there is a further linkage with international efforts to tackle multidimensional poverty. The chapter begins with background information focused on the following themes: recent developments in the search for innovations; flaws in the assumptions of the existing metric (GDP); the importance of process data and its linkage with subjectivity; innovations in the human development index (HDI) system; subjective/processual breakthrough enabled by the gross national happiness system; and a brief introduction to the Flinders University statistical innovation developed to assess people's experiences of development. The chapter then presents the technical details of this innovation, operationalized in calculating human well-being in Timor-Leste, and in the Indian state of Assam. This section covers the computation of the HDI of a section of the population defined by age, namely, the population of the youth of Timor-Leste. No previous attempt is known to have been made to compute HDI for a section of the population defined by age. The final part of the chapter describes the quantification of well-being, which was operationalized as the human well-being index in Assam. This index is presented as a complementary component of the HDI system. It represents the first time a National Human Development Report has attempted to measure well-being, a subjective aspect of the quality-of-life, through developing a dedicated index.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrated Population Biology and Modeling
Subtitle of host publicationPart A
EditorsArni S.R. Srinivasa Rao, C.R. Rao
PublisherElsevier B.V.
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9780444640734
ISBN (Print)9780444640727
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2018

Publication series

NameHandbook of Statistics
ISSN (Print)0169-7161


  • Gender development index
  • Gross national happiness
  • Human development
  • Multidimensional poverty
  • Timor-Leste
  • Well-being index

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    Saikia, U., Dasvarma, G., & Chalmers, J. (2018). Methods of Measuring Human Well-being and Human Development. In A. S. R. Srinivasa Rao, & C. R. Rao (Eds.), Integrated Population Biology and Modeling: Part A (Vol. 39, pp. 545-575). (Handbook of Statistics; Vol. 39). Elsevier B.V..