Measuring welfare of a country

What you measure is what you get. So it's important that we pick the right metrics, especially for something as important as measuring welfare of a country.

The most commonly used measurement of welfare and progress is GDP - the sum total of goods and services produced in your country. But it is flawed on several counts - not all goods produced and sold are good for people, the benefits of the production aren't evenly distributed, someone can be unhappy but still be productive, it doesn't take negative externalities and non-monetary activities into account etc.

This is a hard problem and I definitely don't have an answer :).  But here's an idea. Welfare is subjective i.e. someone is doing well if they think they are. So maybe we should just ask people. I wonder if a simple survey with questions like these can give us a measure of welfare and progress.

  1. How do you feel about the quality of your life? 1-10
  2. How is the quality of your life compared to last year? same/better/worse
  3. Do you think you are living a better life than your parents did? same/better/worse/no idea
  4. Do you think your kids will have a better life than you? same/better/worse/no idea
  5. What aspect of life is good? health/career/education/family/religion/social/finance/leisure
  6. What aspect of life isn't good? health/career/education/family/religion/social/finance/leisure