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    Mother and Three Children, Bhutan by Flickr user

    As the recession dragged on in 2011, America’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew only a few percent. Economists say GDP is an important indicator of the health of an economy. But is GDP the best way to measure how the country is faring?

    Sustainable Seattle, a local nonprofit, says GDP fails to to account for overall well being of the citizens. Inspired by the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, where the government maintains a “gross national happiness index,” they created a survey assessing “the conditions for happiness” in people’s lives. Over 7,000 Seattleites filled it out last year.