New Approach to Measure Wellbeing: A Case Study on Bangladesh

Mohammad Rajib Hasan, Maneka Jayasinghe, Eliyathamby A. Selvanathan

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Abstract

Understanding wellbeing is fundamental to any effort to enhance it. Using the latest World Values Survey (WVS), this study examines the incidence, intensity, and determinants of wellbeing in Bangladesh by constructing a multidimensional wellbeing index (MDWI). The study also provides some insights into how wellbeing changed during 2002–2018 in Bangladesh. The MDWI is calculated using twenty-five indicators corresponding to seven domains. The results indicate that, on average, Bangladeshi people experience a moderate level of wellbeing, and the health domain is the main contributor to wellbeing followed by finance, culture, safety, governance, religion, and science and technology. Intertemporal analysis reveals that over time, people’s wellbeing has increased. Notable differences in wellbeing were observed among the social class groups and administrative divisions. Gender, education, and social class groups appeared to be significantly and positively associated with wellbeing in Bangladesh while age and political party affiliation have significant and negative associations with the MDWI. The regression estimation results based on MDWI appeared robust with those of the widely used self-rated life satisfaction. The results can be used as valuable policy guidelines that improve human wellbeing, which is critical for achieving sustainable development goals in Bangladesh and other developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-311
Number of pages29
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume172
Issue number1
Early online date2 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

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