The government plans to set up a system that will measure factors that contribute to "building a harmonious society", a senior government official has said.
"The ministry is working together with experts to create an index system judging social harmony," Wang Jinhua, deputy director of the Grassroots Political and Community Development under the Ministry of Civil Affairs, said.
Though Wang did not reveal details, he said the satisfaction level of citizens would be the chief criterion.
Wang made the remarks at a seminar on community construction held in Chongqing Municipality on Thursday.
The idea of "building a harmonious society" was adopted by the Party as a key factor to judge its leadership, since 2004.
The concept was mooted at the fourth plenary session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
A harmonious society is defined as a socialist democracy, with rule of law, social justice, honesty and credibility, balancing human activities and natural resources.
The concept is an important one as the country is undergoing widening social disparities after more than two decades of reform and opening up.
A lack of concrete standards with which to judge social harmony has occasionally left citizens nonplussed.
Therefore, the Ministry of Civil Affairs is trying to quantify the concept for the first time.
Experts, however, said they doubted whether the index could reflect such a difficult concept.
"Social harmony is more to do with the relationship between different social strata and groups, which touches upon the soft aspect of a society and is hard to quantify," Xia Xueluan, a sociologist with Peking University, said.