London: Britain will introduce a "happiness index" to gauge its population's psychological and environmental wellbeing, a government source told the Guardian newspaper on Monday.
Prime Minister David Cameron will ask the Office of National Statistics to prepare methods which will measure the "general wellbeing" despite reservations about the timing.
"The aim is to produce a fresh set of data ... to be published at a frequency to be decided that assesses the psychological and physical wellbeing of people around the UK," the source told the paper.
"That's objective measurements of, for instance, how much recycling gets done around the UK, alongside more subjective measures of psychology and attitudes."
Cameron is expected to put the index at the heart of future policy-making, but is in danger of receiving unwelcome results following the government's recent announcement of deep cuts to the public sector.
Canada is investigating the viability of adopting of a similar initiative and French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced last year that he intended to use happiness levels as one method of assessing the country's economic progress.
Britain already polls the public on their life satisfaction levels, but could become the first country to officially monitor its general happiness.
First Published: Monday, November 15, 2010, 14:31