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GDP-- one of the ways for measuring the size of its economy-- of a country is defined as the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. Wheelan speaks of this GDP as one of the indicators of the economical strength. Wheelan likewise spoke of other indicators like health index and cultural index. Health index takes into account child poverty, crime rates. The social index includes measures of divorce rates, drug uses and others. It is also explained that UN uses life expectancy, literacy and many other factors to measure the economic strength.

Charles Wheelan, the author of well respected Naked Economics, describes that these indicators can be used describe to explain country's economic growth, recession and recovery. He calls it "business cycle." One should not place too much weigh only on one of the indicators but try to see the overall effects of individual indicators. I major in statistics and this subjects particularly interests me. In statistical analysis, almost all of the time we create a model function to predict future events or analyze the past events. Measuring economic growth or recession in the country is not an exception in making a model. When creating a model we come up with possible predictor variables to measure the economic welfare. In this case all the indicators Wheelan mentioned become the possible predictor variables. We study the associations between each predictor variables (called collinearity). Statistical analysis allows use to eliminate variables that are not important enough to be in the model. This dropping or adding indicator variables can vary among different nations because each countries are unique and have their own characteristics. Some indicators may not apply directly to the economic welfare. In fact this is exactly what the Bereau of Labor Statistics does to measure the GDP-- take into account make predicotrs into the model.

Additionally, depending on each countries characteristics, statistics has a way of figuring out how to allocate weights to each of these indicators, hence making the welfare measurement more accurate and less biased.