A new approach to well-being measurement is presented in this paper based on multidimensional hierarchical human needs and motivation. This paper empirically applies this new measure of well-being to Australia for the period 1985–2000. This hierarchical approach is underpinned by a rigorous psychological theory of human motivation. Hierarchical human needs are classified into five categories. Eight indicators have been chosen to reflect these categories. A composite indicator of these eight indicators is calculated. This paper concludes that it is necessary to consider multidimensional human needs and motivation when analysing and seeking to improve well-being through economic and social development activities.