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GEO 10 - Geography of Human Wellbeing: Human Wellbeing

Use this guide to help with your Research Task

Human Wellbeing


Be careful of what you can't use - Indicators cannot be one of the factors included in the Human Development Index (i.e. life expectancy, educational attainment, and gross national income per capita)


• What makes human wellbeing a geographical issue?

• How can the spatial variations in human wellbeing and development be measured and explained?

• What are the economic, social and environmental impacts of variations in development and human wellbeing?

• How do governments, groups and individuals respond to inequalities in development and human wellbeing for a sustainable future?

Human Wellbeing

Human development is defined as the process of enlarging people’s freedoms and opportunities and improving their well-being. Human development is about the real freedom ordinary people have to decide who to be, what to do, and how to live. The human development concept was developed by economist Mahbub ul Haq. At the World Bank in the 1970s, and later as minister of finance in his own country, Pakistan, Dr. Haq argued that existing measures of human progress failed to account for the true purpose of development—to improve people’s lives. In particular, he believed that the commonly used measure of Gross Domestic Product failed to adequately measure well-being. Working with Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and other gifted economists, in 1990 Dr. Haq published the first Human Development Report, which was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme.

Mr Fallon's Prezi - this is a good overview

How do we measure Wellbeing

Human Wellbeing

2000 Development Goals for Women

GOAL 1 | Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

GOAL 2 | Achieve universal primary education 

GOAL 3 | Promote gender equality and empower women 

GOAL 4 | Reduce child mortality

GOAL 5 | Improve maternal health 

GOAL 6 | Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases 

GOAL 7 | Ensure environmental sustainability 

GOAL 8 | Develop a global partnership for development Internet 

Happiness Map

World Happiness Map 
Blue = Most Happy
Red - Least Happy

Quality of Life Thesaurus

  • Human wellbeing
  • Livable cities
  • Livable places
  • Liveability
  • Social wellbeing
  • Wellbeing

Break Down

  • Social Mobility
  • Living Standards
  • Life Chance
  • Life Expectancy
  • Modernisation
  • Socio-Economic Status

Happy Planet Index

Better Life Index

  1. Housing: housing conditions and spendings (e.g. real estate pricing)
  2. Income: household income and financial wealth
  3. Jobs: earningsjob security and unemployment
  4. Community: quality of social support network
  5. Education: education and what one gets out of it
  6. Environment: quality of environment (e.g. environmental health)
  7. Governance: involvement in democracy
  8. Health
  9. Life Satisfaction: level of happiness
  10. Safety: murder and assault rates
  11. Work-life balance