The basic statistics of social indicators in this country had been compiled regularly by the respective competent authority until 1979. After then, the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS), Executive Yuan, has been authorized to gather the data from all social spheres to publish the “Social Indicators” based on the framework of “the System of Social and Demographic Statistics, SSDS” released by the United Nations, providing the spirit and service conveyed by the comprehensive social indicator statistics. However, with increasing complexity on social and economic conditions, statistics figures along cannot portray the essence of social issues. Further analysis is needed to find the historical and correlative relationship behind the indicators and consequently, the pattern and complete picture of the social development can be derived.
Therefore, the role of the present yearbook has been repositioned as a tool for analyzing social issues as well as providing data. Every effort has been made to prevent the content of indicators and topic analyses from being loose and aimless without underlying themes. As a result, the 2006 edition of the yearbook has been revised and an accompanied supplement of “Frameworks for Social Indicators” is also published as a theoretic guide for the yearbook. The contents of the theoretic supplement include the ideas conveyed by the social indicators, the criterions for selection, the planning of medium- and long-term subjects, and the collection considerations and the correlation between relevant statistics data. The main objective of the supplement is to provide users with a better logical analysis background on the contents and framework of the yearbook. Each and every subject of the new edition of the yearbook consists of two sections: indicators compilation and topic analysis. The indicators compilation presents the outline of the contents according to the theoretic framework of the supplement, whereas the topic analysis deals with the background of the current situation, the long-term trend, the resource allocation for the socially vulnerable group, and other issues relevant to the turning points in the course of life development.
The contents of the present yearbook are broken down into 9 main subjects: population, family, health, education and research, employment, income and expenditure, housing and living environment, public safety, and culture and leisure; and three supplemental subjects: transportation and communications, social security, and social participation. The data of all indicators presented here date back to 1996. A total of 13 topic analyses are included in this periodical with the theme of “Gross National Happiness, GNH.” First, “Overview on the Gross National Happiness” and “Introduction on OECD Your Better Life Index 2012 edition” are presented to introduce the current theoretical framework and development of welfare around the world. Furthermore, OECD Your Better Life index was employed to analyze the relationship and measurement of happiness with the 11 topics, including: Subjective Well-being, Work-life Balance, Health Status, Education and Skills, Jobs and Earnings, Income and Wealth, Housing Conditions, Environmental Quality, Personal Security, Social Connections, Civic Engagement and Governance. The strategies of future improvement in various fields were also addressed. Further analyses will be investigated for the status quo and the emerging trends on the indicators selected and compare them with those of OECD nations to showcase the advance on the welfare and social progress in this country. Finally, the appendix is divided into two sections, international comparisons on some key social indicators as well as the topic titles of the previous editions of the yearbook, for the reference of our readers.
This yearbook is a comprehensive compilation of statistics indicators involving a wide range of data. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to many people and departments rendering their support. The production of the publication would not have been possible without their contribution. Finally, suggestions and comments on any aspect of this edition are most welcome and highly appreciated.
Directorate-General of Budget,