Health and wellbeing as fundamental as GDP

Wellbeing focus needed to deal with challenges of our time.

Scotland is leading the way in creating an economy in which wellbeing is as fundamental as GDP (Gross Domestic Product) when measuring success, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Addressing the Wellbeing Economy Alliance conference, the First Minister said Scotland will take centre stage this year, hosting a number of events designed to promote and drive forward the creation of a truly global wellbeing economy including:

  • hosting an international business-led summit on the benefits of a wellbeing economy to the private sector and how business can help to create a wellbeing economy
  • hosting a Wellbeing Economy Government’s (WeGo) meeting as part of the fringe at COP26 focussed on how to achieve an economy that is environmentally sustainable while ensuring social wellbeing
  • following up last year’s Wellbeing Economy Government policy labs with further meetings in Edinburgh focussed on Just Transition, Net Zero economies and wellbeing budgeting
  • continuing to work with the OECD to share our experiences more widely and to expand the core membership of the group

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland is redefining what it means to be a successful nation by focusing on the broader wellbeing of the population as well as the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the country.

“The goal and objective of all economic policy should be collective wellbeing. This broader approach is at the very heart of our economic strategy which gives equal importance to tackling inequality as economic competitiveness.

“It is why we are so committed to fair work and making sure that work is fulfilling and well paid and why we are acting to ensure a just transition to a carbon zero economy where no one is left behind.

“Putting wellbeing at the heart of our approach means we can focus on a wider set of measures which reflect on things like the health and happiness of citizens as well as economic wealth to create a world that considers the quality of a person’s life to be as precious an asset as financial success.”  


Scotland established the Wellbeing Economy Governments Group with Iceland and New Zealand in 2018 to collaborate in pursuit of new ways to improve wellbeing but membership is set to grow in 2020.

Scotland’s National Performance Framework sets out a vision for national wellbeing across a range of economic, social and environmental factors.


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