Happiness index should be measured

08:27, November 24, 2010      

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A white paper on middle-income families published in March by China Youth Daily (CYD), showed Jiangsu, Sichuan, Fujian, and Chongqing are the highest four cities in the Happiness Index while Beijing and Shanghai, the big two Chinese metropolises lag behind the lowest ones. Experts name the state of people in big cities as "fake happiness" — they seem glamorous at present, however, suffer greatly from high living expenses, education fees, and intense work competition pressure. [Photo/CYD]

A plan to include the happiness index in government checks on a working environment is being voiced during the final stage of China’s 11th Five-year Plan (2006-2010), China Youth Daily (CDY) reported on Tuesday.

In a recent survey jointly conducted by CDY and www.minyi.org.cn shows over 89.3 percent of interviewees agree the index that measures the well-being of people should be part of the work place assessment criteria used by authorities. 56.6 percent“highly expect”it to be included. The interviewee group range was 15.6 percent from the 60s, 36.2 percent from the 70s, with the same figure for those from the 80s.

When asked what elements affect people’s feeling of happiness, 95.7 percent say government policies and actions, and 68.7 percent say “personal happiness feelings have a great thing to do with government”.

High property prices, high inflation and poor social welfare and health care systems are controlled by government and affect an individual’s sense of happiness, a respondent said in the survey.

“Some local governors only pay attention to the economic figures, pursuing good-looking GDP growth rates without consideration of the social environment, public security, health care, welfare system,” a netizen commented in the survey.

Meng Qingguo, a member of the “people’s livelihood index” group of the National People’s Congress Financial Committee says the feasibility of adopting such a suggestion is small, because “happiness is a personal thing — a small villager may have higher happiness index than that of a urban resident, however, one cannot say the urban government performs worse than the rural one”.

“To give a scientific happiness index measurement tool is what China should do before enrolling it into the government check-up system,”Meng added.

Source: China Daily(By Jia Xu)


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