Progress in the news - March 2011
In the News
Progress in the News
- Children 'wellbeing' data rise in Wales care figures (BBC 30.03.2011)
The number of children in Wales placed in local authority care has risen by 44% in the last decade, figures show.
- Goodbye aid and MDGs, hello global goods and wellbeing (The Guardian 29.03.2011)
In the future, development will be measured by targets on emissions, trade, arms and crime, and underpinned by good governance. And we will strive for material, planetary and relational wellbeing
- Can We Really Measure Happiness? (The Atlantic 29.03.2011)
We may have less money. But so will everybody else. If my child cannot buy the latest trainers, nor can his friends. So he may not feel so bad after all.
- Well-being index: How do you define happiness? (CBC News 29.03.2011)
Britain's Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released the results of a survey meant to measure the nation's happiness, the UK's Telegraph reports.
- Green buildings improve quality of life, says Chor (The Star 29.03.2011)
The construction of environmentally-friendly townships and neighbourhoods is important to provide a high quality of life for the public, said Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung.
- Happy? Statisticians aren't buying it (The Wall Street Journal 28.03.2011)
Governments, academics and pollsters are hot on the trail of happiness.
- We are happiest after we retire and DON'T become grumpy with old age, say scientists (The Mail Online 28.03.20110)
If your carefree youth is a distant memory and you’re entering middle age with a sense of gloom . . . cheer up. The happiest time of your life is probably yet to come.
- Small is beautiful: the father of David Cameron's big society (The Observer 27.03.2011)
The prime minister's politicial philosophy shows repeated similarities to EF Schumacher's famous work
- Poverty levels fall in plantation sector (The Sunday Times 27.03.2011)
The Department of Census and Statistics reports significant reduction in poverty and improvements in quality of life indicators in the estate sector, according to the Planters Association of Ceylon (PA).
- Cool domestic happiness (Dawn 27.03.2011)
Indians have long preferred GDS to GDP: Gross Domestic Self-satisfaction. A 19th-century Cameron would have caught on to the fact that life is something more than a mere industrial revolution.
- The Census: can an idea that began in Buddhist Bhutan improve our lives? (The Scotsman 27.03.2011)
From next week the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will begin collecting the data that will go to make up the nation's happiness index.
- Happy? Statisticians Aren't Buying It (The Wall Street Journal 26.03.2011)
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron has launched an initiative to measure the national mood in a way that isn't captured by traditional economic statistics. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German legislators are looking into similar programs.
- The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire - 100th Anniversary (US Dept of Labour 25.03.2011)
As OSHA celebrates 40 years of protecting workers, we also remember the labor pioneers, safety advocates, community leaders and ordinary workers whose vision for a stronger America laid the foundations for the laws that keep workers safe and healthy today.
- Economics and happiness - Part 2 (Manilla Bulletin 24.03.2011)
As early as 40 years ago when I used to teach introductory courses in economics at De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines, I already pointed out to my students that GDP measurements may actually hide the harmful effects of income growth on the welfare of human beings.
- Region scores high on ‘happiness’ index (Miami Herald 23.03.2011)
Life satisfaction — commonly known as happiness — is what it’s all about. What makes us happy is another matter altogether. The adage that money can’t buy happiness, it turns out, is mostly wrong.
- What Is the Secret to Happiness and Money? (The Atlantic 23.03.2011)
Follow these principles: 1) Buy more experiences and fewer objects. 2) Don't worry about insurance. 3) The frequency of happy events matters more than their intensity.
- Does India compare poorly with China on people's well being? (The Economic Times 23.03.2011)
Last month, I took issue with Professor Amartya Sen on the importance of growth comparisons in policy discourse.
- UN celebrates contribution of climate services to human well-being on World Day (UN News Centre 23.03.2011)
The United Nations is celebrating the contribution of national climate services to people’s daily lives as it marks World Meteorological Day, which this year focuses on the theme “Climate for You.”
- Amartya Sen on Growth and Well-Being (New York Times 22.03.2011)
While reporting my column this week, I exchanged e-mails with the development economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee.
- The Case for Happiness-Based Economics (The Atlantic 21.03.2011)
We're familiar with the American trinity of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Washington typically passes laws to protect the first two. Should we start paying more attention to the third?
- Building a happy society means junking GDP myth (The Japan Times 21.03.2011)
The mass media in Japan have played up the news of China's gross domestic product exceeding, in U.S. dollar terms, Japan's to become the second largest economy in the world after the United States.
- Is China’s Government Overrated? (China Digital Times 21.03.2011)
As part of a special report on “the future of the state”, The Economist responds to the increasingly widespread view that “Beijing really gets things done”, pointing out areas like education and local government financing and accountability in which serious deficiencies remain.
- The Impact of Disaster (NewsWeek 20.03.2011)
The political, economic, and psychological consequences of Japan's catastrophe.
- Economics and happiness (The Manila Bulletin 20.03.2011)
In both developed and developing countries, there is an increasing interest in what can be called happiness economics.
- Foreign Views (Bejing Review 20.03.2011)
The indication of 7-percent economic growth is a strong message by the Chinese Government to grow in its economy not just in terms of speed, but also by quality. Also, more efforts will be taken to make sure that the economic growth is not at the expense of environment.
- No, it ain't from Ripley's! (The Economic Times 19.03.2011)
As the green debate gathers steam, concern is mounting that the pattern of economic growth in many countries is not sustainable. Inevitably, these concerns have helped spawn a growing literature on 'sustainable development'.
- Why Brits Live Longer than Americans (TIME 18.03.2011)
Two key pieces of research were released on either side of the Atlantic this week, shedding new light on what we can do to live longer — and why experts will be squabbling over the secrets of longevity long after most of us have turned up our toes.
- Freakonomics Radio: The Health of Nations (Freakonomics 18.03.2011)
For decades, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has been a standard yardstick for measuring living standards around the world. (The U.S., at $14 trillion, remains far above any other single nation in GDP.)
- Taming Leviathan (The Economist 17.03.2011)
The state almost everywhere is big, inefficient and broke. It needn’t be, says John Micklethwait
- Field Poll: Quality of life plunges in California (SFGate 17.03.2011)
Californians are bummed out. The Golden State's residents rated their quality of life at its lowest mark in almost 20 years, citing the economic downturn and stagnant personal finances, according to a joint UC Berkeley and Field Poll.
- Sydney is a sadder, meaner, angrier city (The Sydney Morning Herald 17.03.2011)
Sydney is the Elizabeth Taylor of Australian cities. It is a little-appreciated fact that the ageing Hollywood glamazon was born just weeks before the grand opening ceremony for the Sydney Harbour Bridge in 1932.
- U.S. No Longer a Top-25 Globalized Nation (The Atlantic 18.03.2011)
The United States has dropped off the list of the top 25 most globalized nations, according to the new Index of Globalization released today by the KOF Swiss Economic Institute.
- Government of Canada Improves Seniors' Quality of Life Across Canada (PR USA 18.03.2011)
Communities across Canada will be improving the well-being of seniors as a result of the Government of Canada's support of 810 projects. The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of State (Seniors) made this announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
- Jomtien +20: focus on education capital (The Bangkok Post 18.03.2011)
Just over 20 years ago in Jomtien some 155 countries signed up to the World Declaration on Education for All, spearheading a movement to close vast gaps in learning opportunities.
- Don't worry, be happy (The Economist 17.03.2011)
The government introduces the country’s new mantra
- CCP’s Illusory and Absurd Official Performance Measure: Making People Happy (The Epoch Times 17.03.2011)
China’s two parliamentary sessions [the National People's Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, held annually in Beijing] opened under heavy military presence because of echoes of the Jasmine Revolution reverberating in China since Feb. 20.
- You have a role to play in your city's well-being (The Times of India 17.03.2011)
How Gurgaon eventually shapes up is dependent on how its citizens want it to develop. No one else has a greater stake in the city's progress than its citizens.
- World Bank loan to improve quality of life in Rio do Janeiro’s favelas (Mecro Press 17.03.2011)
Some two million people who live in informal low income settlements (favelas) in the Rio de Janeiro Metropolitan Region, Brazil, will be benefiting from a 485 million US dollars development policy loan for the Metropolitan and Housing Project approved by the World Bank.
- Economic woes 'hit child happiness' (Press Association 17.03.2011)
Children in households reporting a drop in income over the past year were more than twice as likely to experience low levels of happiness as those in homes where income had risen, research for the Children's Society has shown.
- China promotes the pursuit of happiness (China.Org 16.03.2011)
30 years' of economic reforms in China have created an economic miracle. The government has promoted economic growth with a GDP target every year.
- H.E. Mr. Gu Xiaojie, Ambassador Of China’s Briefing On The Annual Sessions Of The NPC And CPPCC (Ethopian Journal 16.04.2011)
The two sessions, or called “Liang Hui” in Chinese, refering to the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC, the legislature of China) and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC, the top political advisory body of China) were concluded a few days ago. As the most important annual political events in China, the two sessions have caught the eyes of the world’s media
- Residents gather data on 46807 area to develop Quality of Life plan (News Sentinel 16.04.2011)
Residents of the 46807 postal ZIP code can help develop a Quality of Life Plan for that area through a process being coordinated by Pathfinder Community Connections.
- Boulder, Colo., Leads U.S. Metro Areas in Wellbeing (Gallup 15.03.2011)
Boulder, Colo., had the highest Well-Being Index score in the U.S. across the 188 metropolitan areas that Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2010.
- The Least Happy Person in America (New York Times 14.03.2011)
Last week we wrote about Alvin Wong, the American who fits all the demographic characteristics associated with happiness, based on results from Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data.
- Stimulating Happiness (New York Times 14.03.2011)
Roger Cohen writes about David Cameron’s new campaign calling for a focus on “emotional prosperity” rather than just financial prosperity. As he notes, it’s easy to be cynical about Cameron’s motives — and I am.
- Wrong job 'can affect well-being' (Press Association 14.03.2011)
A badly-paid or temporary job can be as bad for mental health as no job at all, research has suggested.
- Measuring Happiness in “the Big Society” (Forbes 14.03.2011)
Roger Cohen discusses in the Times Britain’s initiative to start measuring happiness, life-satisfaction, anxiety, and more by asking people about it. The point of this, Cohen says, quoting Andrew Oswald, “is to shift ‘from the concept of financial prosperity to the idea of emotional prosperity.’”
- Quality of Life Poll (New Channel 34 14.03.2011)
According to a recent poll, more New Yorkers believe that life is getting worse than those who see it getting better.
- Investing in well-being of children essential (Vancouver Sun 14.03.2011)
As an owner of a licensed family child care for 15 years, I am glad parents can get information about a specific facility.
- Can Africa find 'Shared Values'? (Mail and Guardian 14.03.2011)
Every year the African Union (AU) adopts a theme to guide it in the realisation of its objectives. Last year the theme was "Peace and Security", this year it is "Shared Values".
- Alaska ranks 4th among states in 'well being' poll (Alaska Dispatch 13.03.2011)
Alaskans, rejoice: we are the fourth happiest state in terms of "well being" according to a recent Gallup poll. The poll took into account life evaluation, work environment, emotional health, healthy behaviors, basic access to clean water, exercise and medical services, and overall physical health.
- The Happynomics of Life (New York Times 12.03.2011)
The Brits don’t go in much for happiness. Stiff upper lip is more the thing, and a good laugh if warranted. Trying to be happy just seems like piffle to a practical people. Undeterred, Prime Minister David Cameron has decided to create a national happiness index providing quarterly measures of how folks feel.
- 10 steps to happiness (The Guardian 12.03.2011)
There's life and there's the job, right? Wrong. Anna Tims reveals the secrets that can truly improve your sense of wellbeing … without you having to trek through the Himalayas
- Utah: Eighth happiest spot in the nation (Utah News 12.03.2011)
Utah ranks 8th in the nation for the overall well-being of its residents, with a slight drop — from 16th to 17th — for their workplace contentment.
- 'Happiness Index' vies with entrenched GDP cult (Shanghai Daily 11.03.2011)
"Farewell GDP fetish!" proclaims the cover headline of the latest issue of China Newsweek magazine.
- Our economic well-being as a country (Times of Malta 11.03.2011)
The global company Gallup (of Gallup Poll fame) has deve-loped a service focused on measuring the well-being of employees. They claim that employee well-being has a direct and significant impact on the bottom line and therefore provides companies with a financial and competitive advantage.
- Gaponomics (The Economist 10.03.2011)
Regional income inequality has risen in many countries. What should be done about it?
- Nine Chinese Provinces Want to Double GDP, NPC Chief Says No (Epoch Times 10.03.2011)
The Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee has poured cold water on the idea that provinces will be able to double their GDPs within the next five years.
- Unhealthy lifestyle cuts 12 years off average Briton's life, says Bupa (The Telegraph 09.03.2011)
The average Briton risks cutting 12 years off their life because of their unhealthy lifestyle, according to Bupa.
- Expats search for 'better quality of life' (The Telegraph 10.03.2011)
Most expats leave the UK looking for a happier life - and they find it, according to new research.
- Malta and Zimbabwe share best climate in the world (eTN 09.03.2011)
Zimbabwe is a country of contrasts, and it comes as no surprise that its climate was voted “the best climate on Earth” alongside that of Malta in International Living magazine’s 2011 Quality of Life Index, published this January.
- International Women's Day: a century of slow progress (The Guardian 08.03.2011)
Women across the globe celebrate the centenary of IWD, but one thing remains clear – so much still has to change
- Lower GDP rate means more happiness? (Radio 86 08.03.2011)
Local governments are now being pushed to build at least 10 million affordable apartments this year to house the exploding population in big cities.
- Foreign media spotlight China's growing emphasis on happiness (xinhua 08.03.2011)
Chinese lawmakers and political advisors' enthusiastic discussions on building "a happy China" during two ongoing important meetings has attracted great attention from foreign media.
- 100 years of progress but fight for equality still not won says Euro MP (Rochdale Online 08.03.2011)
On the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day Euro MP Arlene McCarthy MEP has spoken of the challenges women still face today.
- FP Book Club: Charles Kenny's Getting Better (Foreign Policy 08.03.2011)
Jeni Klugman: People are healthier and more prosperous than they used to be. But are they freer?
- Happiness has no index (Shanghai Daily 07.03.2011)
In denouncing a GDP cult (reckless pursuit of economic growth), China should avoid another form of cult: blind worship of the so-called "Happiness Index."
- The Mauritius Miracle, Joseph E. Stiglitz (Project Sydnicate 07.03.2011)
Suppose someone were to describe a small country that provided free education through university for all of its citizens, transportation for school children, and free health care – including heart surgery – for all.
- How do we know if we’re happy? (Business Day 07.03.2011)
We must try to do better than obsess about GDP
- Happiest in Hawaii: Aloha State Tops Well-Being List (Live Science 07.03.2011)
Sun and waves might be good for the soul, according to a new national survey naming Hawaii as tops in well-being among U.S. states — but the sunshine doesn't necessarily elbow out Northern Lights and snow, as Alaska also made the top 10 happiest states list.
- American Quality of Life in an Interactive Map (New York Times 07.03.2011)
Today’s edition of 6 Q’s About the News asks students to analyze an interactive map, “Mapping the Nation’s Well-Being,” to find many of the answers to the questions below. They will also use a short, related piece, “Discovered: The Happiest Man in America.”
- Road map for China's social, economic development unfolded (AsiaOne 06.03.2011)
Premier Wen Jiabao on Saturday unfolded the road map for China's social and economic development during the next five years, setting targets for the quality and efficiency of economic growth and speaking about the transformation of the growth mode and economic restructuring.
- Hawaii No. 1 in U.S. for Wellbeing, and West Virginia Last (Gallup 06.03.2011)
Southern states have the lowest wellbeing scores in the nation.
- Mapping the Nation’s Well-Being (New York Times 05.03.2011)
For the last three years, Gallup has called 1,000 randomly selected American adults each day and asked them about indicators of their quality of life. Responses are converted to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Here are the 2010 results, sorted by Congressional districts.
- Discovered: The Happiest Man in America (New York Times 05.03.2011)
For the last three years, Gallup has called 1,000 randomly selected American adults each day and asked them about their emotional status, work satisfaction, eating habits, illnesses, stress levels and other indicators of their quality of life.
- Mental well-being scale designed with local factors in mind (Today 05.03.2011)
A locally developed mental well-being scale was launched on Friday by the Health Promotion Board (HPB).
- State parks: Important for quality of life (Jacksonville 05.03.2011)
In state budget discussions and in local elections, we occasionally view our parks as a luxury item we can easily do without.
- The Pursuit of Happiness (Canada 04.03.2011)
Perhaps the pursuit of happiness was never such a good idea. But, in 1776, this objective from the French Enlightenment seemed to be convincing enough that it was incorporated into the Constitution of the newly formed United States of America as a founding principle.
- N.D. has best job market in 2010 in U.S., study says (The Jamestown Sun 04.03.2011)
North Dakota was credited with the nation’s best job market in 2010, according to Gallup's Job Creation Index study. The results are based on aggregated data from nearly 200,000 interviews with employed adults during 2010.
- Singapore introduces first Asia-based mental well-being scale (Xinhuanet 04.03.2011)
The Health Promotion Board of Singapore has introduced a mental well-being scale that is the first to be reflective of its Asian values and multi-ethnic beliefs, it said Friday.
- Longevity a state of mind (Sydney Morning Herald 03.03.2011)
Today's lesson: be happy, live longer. Now science seems to back the glass half-full approach.
- GDP and happiness (The Manilla Bulletin 03.04.2011)
The international measure of well-being of a nation is usually GDP (Gross Domestic Product) but production or money is only part of well-being. Some nations are suggesting that happiness be the measure.
- Building a future for all of our children (The Herald Scotland 03.03.2011)
Evidence that the nurture and stimulus children receive in their earliest years provide foundations for their future lives is now unassailable.
- More and more world leaders want happy nations, not just rich ones (The Telegraph 02.03.2011)
In the years since the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan embraced the idea of measuring national progress by the happiness of its citizens, the idea has caught the imagination of leading economists and political leaders across the world.
- Trying to get a fix on when happiness counts (The Irish Times 02.03.2011)
From next month, Britain’s statisticians begin the task of assessing how happy we all are, responding to David Cameron’s oft-repeated view that there’s more to life than money.
- China orders officials to go out and 'make people happy' (The Telegraph 02.03.2011)
China has ordered its officials to go out and "make people happy" in a bid to combat simmering discontent caused by a widening rich-poor divide, choking pollution, soaring inflation and endemic corruption.
- Bhutan's 'Gross National Happiness' index (The Telegraph 02.03.2011)
The tiny, remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan first invented the idea of using happiness as a measure of good governance – an idea its superpower neighbour China has now borrowed.
- China resorts to happiness to evaluate gov't officials' work (xinhuanet 01.03.2011)
"I was really frustrated when I was told my promotion was suspended," said Ma Dechen, the party leader in a mountainous township in central China's Henan Province.
- China's GDP Strategy: Make People Happy (The Atlantic 28.02.2011)
Heading into China's National People's Congress (NPC) this week, which is something akin to the start of a new congress in the U.S., the chatter has been noticeably less on GDP growth and more on happiness.
- Wen outlines major govt tasks in annual online chat (People's Daily Online 28.02.2011)
In a two-hour online chat with Web users Sunday, Premier Wen Jiabao pledged to prioritize issues that are at the heart of "people's happiness," such as ensuring social equality and justice.
- Growth target cut in quality of life push (The Standard 28.02.2011)
China has set a lower average annual economic growth target of 7 percent for 2011 to 2015, Premier Wen Jiabao has revealed.
- The HDI Tree: A Visual Representation (UNDP HDI Press Release 28.02.2011)
The HDI is an attempt to simplify and communicate the complexity of human development using a numerical representation. Yet, there are alternatives to these numerical representations that have not been much explored in the context of the HDI.
- GDP — an indicator of the prosperity of a ‘selected’ elite (Daily News and Analysis 27.02.2011)
I am sure many of you are rejoicing at what the papers had to say yesterday. India's gross domestic product (GDP) is going to shoot up even beyond the 9% we had hoped it would reach. Yippee.
- Cheerful kids make for happy adults (Sify News 27.02.2011)
Being happy and cheerful in teen years could be key to greater well being and satisfaction in adulthood, says new research.
For progress in the news prior to 2011, see: