Woohoo! We’ve just completed work on the Happy City Index, the world’s first city-wide live measure of happiness and wellbeing!

The Index will be used by everyday people across the city, and local authorities and organisations are backing the pilot to help them learn more about residents’ wellbeing and figure out ways to improve it.

To inform the index, we created The Happiness Pulse, a quick and engaging survey that allows the people of Bristol (and many other cities in the future!) to answer questions on a number of factors that affect their happiness.


Happy City had previously built a similar survey with Typeform, an off-the-shelf form-builder, and had collected over 700 responses. Working with statisticians from the University of Bristol, Happy City analysed the data they had collected to establish trends and a baseline for happiness across the city.

They wanted to create something more engaging than their original prototype, something that was more flexible and that they could have more control over, allowing users to benefit from the process and decision makers to collect exactly the data they need to help people to thrive.

The Pulse survey is made up of 3 domains that reflect different core aspects of happiness and wellbeing throughout the city and within organisations, including Bristol University who have funded a bespoke trial version for their students.

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The Pulse survey also uses the data to calculate what kind of mode you’re in, and assigns you a character trait for your ‘type of happiness today’, which can be easily shared to Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+.

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Although Happy City will use the data to work with local authorities and policy makers to make Bristol a better place, they wanted to provide real, instant value to users who took the time to do the survey. Using the dataset from the original survey, the Happy City Pulse compares users’ responses to the city baseline, letting users know in which areas of life they are most happy, and directing them to relevant resources to help them improve their wellbeing.

Happy City’s founding Director Liz Zeidler shared with Simpleweb her excitement about the launch of the tool…

“What really excites me about the Happy City Index project is that it aims to support change at three different levels. Helping individuals of all backgrounds and ages, to feel more ability to influence their happiness will be an incredible achievement.

To also be able to ensure communities and organisations use their resources (human, financial and planetary) more wisely to make a real and positive difference is also an amazing opportunity.

And then, by encouraging a whole city to take it’s ‘Happiness Pulse’ we hope to start getting a picture, at a city scale, about what creates the conditions to thrive, and how better to shape policy and action to encourage that.”

We can’t wait to learn more about happiness and wellbeing in our home city. If you want to take part, visit happycityindex.org.

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