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Panda cub helps boost Taipei's happiness ranking: deputy mayor

2013/09/11 19:32

The giant panda cub born at Taipei Zoo on July 6. (Photo courtesy of Taipei Zoo)

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) A deputy Taipei mayor attributed his city's improved ranking in a local happiness index to a two-month-old panda cub and improving infrastructure.

Taipei, which had an overall score of 65.1, moved up six places to finish second behind Hsinchu City among Taiwan's 22 municipalities, counties and cities in Taiwan in this year's survey conducted by the Economic Daily News and Nan Shan Life Insurance Co.

Taipei had the highest score of any administrative district for disposable household income, Internet connectivity, life expectancy, and educational attainment (percentage of residents holding at least a college degree).

Deputy Taipei Mayor Tim Ting said at a briefing held to present the survey's results that the birth of the giant panda cub at the Taipei Zoo on July 6 helped build a sense of happiness among the city's residents.

The birth of the cub came after the zoo attempted to artificially inseminate its female panda named Yuan Yuan using sperm from the male panda Tuan Tuan.

The two pandas were given to the zoo in late 2008 to symbolize warmer ties between Taiwan and China.

Ting also touted several infrastructure projects, such as the development of the metro network, the creation of the YouBike public bicycle rental system and efforts to rehabilitate the Tamsui River, as factors in the result.

Hsinchu's score of 71.1 was the highest in Taiwan in the well-being index, compiled for the second time this year and loosely based on the 11 core dimensions of the OECD's "Better Life Index."

According to the survey, Hsinchu led Taiwan in such categories as air pollution (average concentration of particulate matter), health, community (quality of support network), housing, and life satisfaction.

A total of 22,500 people were polled for the survey.

(By Tai Ya-chen, Wu Ching-chun and Kay Liu)enditem/ls