Cabinet announces plan to launch 'Well-being Index'
By Ann Yu, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Cabinet has announced that Taiwan will launch its first “National Well-being Index” by August as part of measuring how satisfied people are with their lives.
March 8, 2013, 12:16 am TWN
Citing President Ma Ying-jeou who asked to launch a well-being measurement for Taiwan this year, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) said more countries are focusing attention on such measurements rather than just economic growth or unemployment.
Shih Su-mei (石素梅), minister of the Executive Yuan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS, 主計處), added that as countries begin recognizing the limits of GDP as a measure of people's satisfaction with their lives, developing a well-being measurement becomes the next important step.
Shih said the “National Well-being Index” is inspired by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) “Better Life Index,” which measures up to 34 OECD member countries, including developed economies and emerging economies.
According to the “Better Life Index” website, the measurement is based on 11 topics and 24 indicators that the OECD defines as essential, including both material living conditions and quality of life matters, such as housing, income, civic engagement and work-life balance.
In the Cabinet report, Taiwan will show up to two national index measurements — one is based completely on the OECD index measurement, the other is based on a measurement that the government has mapped specifically for Taiwan.
Shih explained that the new measurements will observe the nation in 38 indicators, rather than the OECD's original 24, as the government considers the additional indicators to more accurately resemble people's living conditions.
“These indicators were developed through multiple meetings with scholars, professionals and government officials,” she said, “Taiwan, as well as other countries all have need for more localized indicators owing to each country's uniqueness.”
As an example, Shih cited Bhutan that has the “Gross National Happiness” indicator, France has “Measuring Quality of Life,” and Britain has “National Well-being.”
As an example, she noted that for housing, Taiwan has drafted objective and subjective indicators, such as the average ping a person lives in (objective), and their satisfaction with their neighborhood environment (subjective).