Economic Indicators for a Sustainable Society

If we, as members of this society, are primarily concerned with the amount of new things we are creating and consuming, then GDP is adequate to measure our economic success. If, however, we value equal access to those things, ecological balance, peaceful relations with other countries and personal health and happiness, we must find additional ways to monitor our success. In addition to looking to see how much the quantity of things we have is growing, we need to look at how well we are achieving and maintaining a sustainable and equitable way of life.

Analyzing the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)

1. What is the GPI? How does it differ from the GDP?

2. What has happened to the GPI since 1950? Why?

3. Choose three to four categories from Contents of the Genuine Progress Indicator.

List them.

For each, explain how it is calculated and incorporated into the GPI.

4. Look at the chart of GPI data.

Select two statistics that show progress and four that show serious decline.

5. What do you think needs to happen to increase the GPI? How might the GPI become a more important measure?