Society at a Glance

Frequency :
Biennial
ISSN :
1999-1290 (online)
ISSN :
1995-3984 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/19991290
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The OECD biennial report providing internationally comparable data on demography and family characteristics, employment and wealth, mobility and housing, health status, social expenditure, subjective well-being, social cohesion, and other social measures. Included are such interesting variables as suicides, child care costs, prisoners, gender wage gaps, poverty and mothers in employment.

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Society at a Glance 2011

Society at a Glance 2011

OECD Social Indicators You or your institution have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
12 Apr 2011
ISBN :
9789264111127 (HTML) ; 9789264098527 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/soc_glance-2011-en

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This sixth edition of Society at a Glance, OECD's biennial overview of social indicators,  updates some indicators from previous volumes and introduces several new ones. It also features a special chapter on unpaid work. It includes data on the four newest OECD members: Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia. Where available, data on major emerging economies Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa are also included. 

www.oecd.org/els/social/indicators

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    Foreword
    This is the sixth edition of Society at a Glance, the OECD’s biennial overview of social indicators. As with its predecessors, this report addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends across OECD countries. It updates some indicators included in the previous five editions and introduces several new ones.
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    • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/acronyms-and-conventional-signs_soc_glance-2011-2-en
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    Acronyms and Conventional Signs
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    • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/cooking-and-caring-building-and-repairing_soc_glance-2011-3-en
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    Cooking and Caring, Building and Repairing
    Families devote substantial unpaid time to productive activities such as cooking, cleaning and caring. This unpaid work increases overall consumption of goods and services and represents implicit income (Becker, 1965). As countries industrialise, a large part of the household production of food, clothing and caring for family members may be transferred to markets and purchased by families. At a national level, well-being is often proxied by aggregate income or production per head (e.g. GDP per capita) and changes in well-being by the corresponding growth rate. But levels of well-being will be underreported if there is a considerable amount of unpaid work. Additionally, well-being gains will be over-reported if GDP growth occurs because of reductions in unpaid work and increases in paid work (Stiglitz et al., 2009).
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    Interpreting OECD Social Indicators
    Society at a Glance 2011 provides a broad picture of social outcomes and social responses across the OECD. It informs responses to two questions: œ Compared with their own past and with other OECD countries, what progress have countries made in their social development? œ How effective have been the actions of societies in furthering social development?
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    Society at a Glance: An Overview
    There are 25 social indicators presented in Society at a Glance 2011. In Society at a Glance 2009, a summary was provided through a table which selected two indicators per chapter, chosen on the basis of their a priori importance and through consultation with member countries, and assigned "green" for performance in the top three deciles, "orange" for performance in the middle four deciles and "red" for the bottom three deciles.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts General Context Indicators

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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/household-income_soc_glance-2011-6-en
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      Household income
      Data on annual median equivalised household disposable income came from the income distribution project (OECD, 2008). Disposable income was gross household income after deduction of direct taxes and payment of social security contributions. It excluded in-kind services provided to households by governments and private entities, consumption taxes, and imputed income flows due to home ownership. People were attributed the income of their household. Household income was adjusted for household size by assuming a common equivalence scale of 0.5.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/fertility_soc_glance-2011-7-en
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      Fertility
      The total fertility rate is the number of children that would be born to each woman at the end of her childbearing years if the likelihood of her giving birth to children at each age was the currently prevailing age-specific fertility rates. It is computed by summing up the age-specific fertility rates defined over fiveyearly intervals. Assuming no net migration and unchanged mortality, total fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman ("replacement") ensures broad population stability. Data typically come from civil population registers or other administrative records. These are harmonised according to United Nations and Eurostat recommendations. The exception is Turkey, where fertility data are survey-based.
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      Migration
      Immigrants are, in the first instance, defined as those who are foreign-born. In general, the foreign-born population is substantially larger than the share of foreign nationals. More information on the origin and characteristics of the immigrant population in OECD countries, and on data sources, can be found in OECD (2010). 2009 PISA data, used here to consider the migrant status of 15 year-old school pupils and their parents, is described in SS3 below.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/family_soc_glance-2011-9-en
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      Family
      Data on family structure are drawn from the Gallup World Poll. The Gallup World Poll is conducted in over 140 countries around the world based on a common questionnaire, translated into the predominant languages of each country. With few exceptions, all samples are probability based and nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 years and over in the entire country, including rural areas. While this ensures a high degree of comparability across countries, results may be affected by sampling and non-sampling error. Sample sizes vary between around 1 000 and 4 000, depending on the country. The categories are self-assessed by the respondent.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/old-age-support-rate_soc_glance-2011-10-en
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      Old age support rate
      The old age support rates relate to the number of those who are capable of providing economic support to the number of older people that may be materially dependent on the support of others. The support rate indicator used here is the population aged 20 to 64 as a ratio of those aged 65 and over. The projections for old-age support rates used here are based on the most recent "medium-variant" population projections. They are drawn from the United Nations, World Population Prospects – 2008 Revision.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Self-sufficiency Indicators

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      Employment
      A person is employed if working for pay, profit or family gain for at least one hour per week, even if temporarily absent from work because of illness, holidays or industrial disputes. The data from labour force surveys of OECD countries rely on this work definition during a survey reference week. The basic indicator for employment is the proportion of the working age population aged 15-64 who are employed. These employment rates are presented by age, gender, educational attainment and migrant status. Temporary employees are wage and salary workers whose job has a pre-determined termination date as opposed to permanent employees whose job is of unlimited duration. National definitions broadly conform to this generic definition, but may vary depending on national circumstances.
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      Unemployment
      The unemployment rate is the ratio of people out of work and actively seeking it to the population of working age either in work or actively seeking it (15 to 64-years old). The data are gathered through labour force surveys of member countries. According to the standardised ILO definition used in these surveys, the unemployed are those who did not work for at least one hour in the reference week of the survey but who are currently available for work and who have taken specific steps to seek employment in the four weeks preceding the survey. Thus, for example, people who cannot work because of physical impairment, or who are not actively seeking a job because they have little hope of finding work are not considered as unemployed.
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      Student performance
      Student performance is assessed through results from the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). PISA is the most comprehensive international effort to measure the skills of students towards the end of the period of compulsory education. In the latest results, 15-year-old students across the OECD did tests in reading, mathematics and science in 2009. In PISA comparable tests are administered under independently supervised conditions in order to assess students’ competencies. PISA tests are not tied to specific national curricula. Rather, students apply knowledge to situations they might encounter in the real word, such as planning a route, interpreting the instructions for an electrical appliance, or taking information from a chart. For each subject the average score across OECD countries is 500 for the first time it becomes a major domain in PISA. Thereafter the OECD average reflects the country performances.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/pensionable-years_soc_glance-2011-14-en
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      Pensionable years
      Pensionable years is the numbers of years that men and women can expect to live following attaining a measure of the actuarially neutral pensionable age in 2010 (described here as the official age of pension entitlement), which is a policy choice variable. For more discussion of estimates of pensionable age see OECD (2011). International comparisons of age at actual labour force exit rely on indirect measures from crosssectional data. Indirect measures treat those above a certain age as retired if they are not in the labour force (average age at labour force exit). Net movements into retirement are proxied by the changes over time in proportions of older population not in the labour force. This indirect measure is the average effective age of retirement. The official age of retirement is also complex to pin down, especially when retirement is based on fixed years of pension contribution. For more discussion see OECD (2011).
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/education-spending_soc_glance-2011-15-en
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      Education spending
      Data on per capita education spending is calculated using total annual spending on primary and secondary education and numbers of students enrolled at the same level. Latest data come from the 2007 year. Figures are for public and private spending combined, and are reported in US dollars based on purchasing power parities for the respective years. Spending comparisons over time are at 2000 prices. Cumulative spending plots the cumulative spending by age between ages 6 to 16 as a percentage of total public spending over the period. PISA reading score data sources are described in SS3.
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      Income inequality
      Measures of income inequality are based on data on people’s household disposable income (see "Definition and measurement" in GE1 for more detail). The main indicator of income distribution used is the Gini coefficient. Values of the Gini coefficient range between 0 in the case of "perfect equality" (each person gets the same income) and 1 in the case of "perfect inequality" (all income goes to the share of the population with the highest income). Life expectancy data is discussed in "Definition and measurement" of indicator HE1.
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      Poverty
      Perceptions of a decent standard of living vary across countries and over time. Thus no commonly agreed measure of poverty exists across OECD countries. As with income inequality, the starting point for poverty measurement is equivalised household disposable income provided by national consultants (see "Definition and measurement" under EQ1. Income inequality). People are classified as poor when their equivalised household income is less than half of the median prevailing in each country. The use of a relative income-threshold means that richer countries have the higher poverty thresholds. Higher poverty thresholds in richer countries capture the notion that avoiding poverty means an ability to access to the goods and services that are regarded as customary or the norm in any given county. The poverty rate is a headcount of how many people fall below the poverty line.
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      Income difficulties
      Data on income difficulties is drawn from the Gallup World Poll. The Gallup World Poll is conducted in over 140 countries around the world based on a common questionnaire, translated into the predominant languages of each country. With few exceptions, all samples are probability based and nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 years and over in the entire country, including rural areas. While this ensures a high degree of comparability across countries, results may be affected by sampling and non-sampling error. Sample sizes vary between around 1 000 and 4 000, depending on the country. The Gallup data for this question does not include Switzerland. The data used is the response to the question "Which one of these phrases comes closest to your own feelings about your household’s income these days?". The following four responses are possible: Living comfortably on present income, Getting by on present income, Finding it difficult on present income, Finding it very difficult on present income. The statistics presented combines the last two categories. Rates calculated omitted don’t knows and refused from the denominator. This non-response was 11% in Italy and also high in the Russian Federation and Belgium (7%). Household income data sources are described in CO1 and income distribution data in EQ1 and EQ2. The Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality. Values range between 0 – perfect equality – and 1 – all income goes to one person.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/leaving-low-income-from-benefits_soc_glance-2011-19-en
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      Leaving low income from benefits
      The indicators show gross earnings levels expressed as a percentage of average full time earnings, required for a family to reach a 60% median income threshold from benefits of last resort. Benefits of last resort are paid when all other sources of income are exhausted. 60% was shown because many countries have benefits of last resort above 50%. Benefit income includes family-related benefits and housing benefits (with and without), on top of core benefits. It is expressed as a percentage of average full-time wages. Income tax and social security as well as tax-related benefits are also counted. The indicators are shown for 2009 and for lone-parents and couples with two children aged 4 and 6. In the married-couple case, a one earner couple is assumed. Family incomes in these situations are simulated using the OECD Tax-Benefit Model (methodology available in Benefits and Wages 2007 and on-line: www.oecd.org/els/social/ workincentives). Median incomes come from Growing Unequal? (2008). They relate to the mid-2000s and are converted to 2009 prices. No bars are shown for countries where the sum of all benefits, excluding earnings, exceeds 60% of median income. For Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Switzerland, Turkey and Korea, the indicators are for 2008.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/public-social-spending_soc_glance-2011-20-en
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      Public social spending
      Social expenditure is classified as public when general government (i.e. central administration, local governments and social security institutions) controls the financial flows. For example, sickness benefits financed by compulsory contributions from employers and employees to social insurance funds are considered "public", whereas sickness benefits paid directly by employers to their employees are classified as "private". For cross-country comparisons, the indicator of social spending used here refers to public spending as a share of GDP. The spending flows shown here are recorded before deduction of direct and indirect tax payments levied on these benefits and before addition of tax expenditures provided for social purposes ("gross spending"). Spending by lower tiers of government may be underestimated in some federal countries. Private social spending, which is considerable in a number of countries such as Korea and Canada, is not considered here because of the considerably greater error in the data. The Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality. Values range between 0 – perfect equality – and 1 – all income goes to one person.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Health Indicators

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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/life-expectancy_soc_glance-2011-21-en
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      Life expectancy
      Life expectancy is defined as the average number of years that a person could expect to live if he or she experienced the age-specific mortality rates prevalent in a given country in a particular year. It does not include the effect of any future decline in age-specific mortality rates. Each country calculates its life expectancy according to somewhat varying methodologies. These methodological differences can affect the exact comparability of reported estimates, as different methods can change a country’s measure of life expectancy slightly. Life expectancy data was from 2008 except the following: Belgium, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States all 2007. Chile, France, Mexico, the Netherlands and Sweden all 2009. Life expectancy changes are calculated from 1983 to 2008, except for those countries where the latest figure is 2007, in which case this is used. Household income and income inequality data are discussed in GE1 and EQ1. The Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality. Values range between 0 – perfect equality – and 1 – all income goes to one person.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/infant-mortality_soc_glance-2011-22-en
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      Infant mortality
      The infant mortality rate is the annual number of deaths of children under one year of age per 1 000 live births. Some international variation in infant mortality rates may be due to country variation in defining live children following birth. Most countries have no gestational age or weight limits for mortality registration. Minimal limits exist for Norway (to be counted as a death following a live birth, the gestational age must exceed 12 weeks) and in the Czech Republic, France, the Netherlands and Poland a minimum gestational age of 22 weeks and/or a weight threshold of 500 g is applied (EURO-PERISTAT Project 2008, Table 3.1, p. 40). Household income and income inequality data are discussed in GE1 and EQ1. The Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality. Values range between 0 – perfect equality – and 1 – all income goes to one person.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/positive-and-negative-experiences_soc_glance-2011-23-en
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      Positive and negative experiences
      Data on positive and negative experiences are drawn from the Gallup World Poll. The Gallup World Poll is conducted in over 140 countries around the world based on a common questionnaire, translated into the predominant languages of each country. With few exceptions, all samples are probability based and nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 years and over in the entire country, including rural areas. While this ensures a high degree of comparability across countries, results may be affected by sampling and non-sampling error. Sample sizes vary between around 1 000 and 4 000, depending on the country. The "positive experience index" is a measure of respondents’ experienced well-being on the day before the survey in terms of feeling well-rested, being treated with respect all day, smiling or laughing a lot, learning or doing something interesting, and experiencing enjoyment. The "negative experience index" is a measure of respondents’ experienced well-being on the day before the survey in terms of physical pain, worry, sadness, stress and depression. Positive and negative experiences are likely to be less influenced by countryspecific cultural factors than is life satisfaction. EQLS data comes from Anderson et al. (2009).
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/water-and-air-quality_soc_glance-2011-24-en
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      Water and air quality
      Data come from the Gallup World Poll. The Gallup World Poll is conducted in over 140 countries around the world based on a common questionnaire, translated into the predominant languages of each country. With few exceptions, all samples are probability based and nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 years and over in the entire country, including rural areas. While this ensures a high degree of comparability across countries, results may be affected by sampling and non-sampling error. Sample sizes vary between around 1 000 and 4 000, depending on the country. The data reported are binary responses to the question "In the city or area where you live, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the quality of air/ water?". Positive experience data is described in HE3 and infant mortality data in HE2.
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      Health spending
      Total expenditure on health measures the final consumption of health goods and services plus capital investment in health care infrastructure. It includes both public and private spending on personal health care and collective health services (public health and prevention programmes and administration). Excluded are health-related expenditures such as training, research and environmental health. The data is presented as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP). To compare health care expenditures across time, it is deflated by a national price index and converted to US dollars using purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates.
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Social Cohesion Indicators

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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/trust_soc_glance-2011-26-en
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      Trust
      Trust data is based on the question: "Generally speaking would you say that most people can be trusted or that you need to be very careful in dealing with people?". Data come from two different surveys: the European Social Survey (ESS) (2008 wave 4) for OECD-Europe and the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) (2007 wave) for non-OECD Europe. For the ESS, interviewees answer using a 10-point scale with the lowest category being "You can’t be too careful" and the highest "Most people can be trusted". The ISSP has four categories: "People can almost always be trusted", "People can usually be trusted", "You usually can’t be too careful in dealing with people", and "You almost always can’t be too careful in dealing with people". The trust measure aggregates the top five categories for the ESS and the top two categories for the ISSP to give a percentage of people expressing high levels of trust. When data for a country was available from different sources, ESS data was preferred over ISSP data, because of larger sample sizes and a more nuanced question. Weights provided by the surveys were applied. Data comparability across countries may be affected by sample sizes and variation in response rates. Further comparability issues arise because of differences in survey frames and questions. For assessing trends in trust, annual average changes were calculated using the 2002 ESS (wave 1), and the 1998 ISSP wave as starting points. The Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality. Values range between 0 – perfect equality – and 1 – all income goes to one person.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/confidence-in-social-institutions_soc_glance-2011-27-en
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      Confidence in social institutions
      Data on confidence in social institutions comes from the Gallup World Poll. The Gallup World Poll is conducted in over 140 countries around the world based on a common questionnaire, translated into the predominant languages of each country. With few exceptions, all samples are probability based and nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 years and over in the entire country, including rural areas. While this ensures a high degree of comparability across countries, results may be affected by sampling and non-sampling error. Sample sizes vary between around 1 000 and 4 000, depending on the country. Data on institutional confidence is a composite indicator on corruption and a composite indicator on national institutions, created by Gallup. The corruption index is based on a binary question of whether corruption is widespread in business and government and the confidence in national institutions index is based on questions regarding confidence in the military, the judiciary and the national government. The Gallup corruption index correlated strongly and inversely with the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, based on experts’ rankings for the OECD countries, providing evidence of validity.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/pro-and-anti-social-behaviour_soc_glance-2011-28-en
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      Pro- and anti-social behaviour
      Data on pro- and anti-social behaviour are drawn from the Gallup World Poll. The Gallup World Poll is conducted in over 140 countries around the world based on a common questionnaire, translated into the predominant languages of each country. With few exceptions, all samples are probability based and nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 years and over in the entire country, including rural areas. While this ensures a high degree of comparability across countries, results may be affected by sampling and non-sampling error. Sample sizes vary between around 1 000 and 4 000, depending on the country. Pro-social behaviour averages country responses to three questions about whether the respondent has volunteered time, donated money to a charity and helped a stranger in the last month. Anti-social behaviour averages responses to questions on whether the respondent has had money or property stolen in the last year and been assaulted. The Gini coefficient is a measure of income inequality. Values range between 0 – perfect equality – and 1 – all income goes to one person.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/voting_soc_glance-2011-29-en
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      Voting
      Voting in national parliamentary elections is one indicator of people’s participation in their community’s national life. The indicator used here to measure the participation of individuals to the electoral process is the "voter turnout", i.e. the number of individuals that cast a ballot during an election as a share of the population of voting age – generally the population aged 18 or more – as available from administrative records of member countries. Different types of elections occur in different countries and for different geographical jurisdictions. For some countries, it should be noted, turnout for presidential elections and regional elections may be higher than for national parliamentary elections, perhaps because those elected through these ballots are constitutionally more important for how those countries are run. Equally, relatively frequent elections may reduce turnout. Data about voter turnout are extracted from the international database organised by the Institute for Democratic and Electoral Assistance (IDEA). This section also presents data on the turnout of voters by selected socio-demographic characteristics. These data, based on surveys of individuals undertaken after major elections, are based on the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems (CSES), an international research program that collects comparable data on elections. Estimates of the total voter turn-out from these surveys may differ from those based on administrative data, shown in CO4.1. Highly educated people are defined as those who have attended university and low levels as those who have not completed secondary school.
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      • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/social-issues-migration-health/society-at-a-glance-2011/tolerance_soc_glance-2011-30-en
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      Tolerance
      Data on tolerance is drawn from the Gallup World Poll. The Gallup World Poll is conducted in over 140 countries around the world based on a common questionnaire, translated into the predominant languages of each country. With few exceptions, all samples are probability based and nationally representative of the resident population aged 15 years and over in the entire country, including rural areas. While this ensures a high degree of comparability across countries, results may be affected by sampling and non-sampling error. Sample sizes vary between around 1 000 and 4 000, depending on the country. The tolerance index is the ratio of the people who respond yes to the question of whether the city or area where they live a good place or not a good place to live for ethnic minorities, migrants, or gay or lesbian people to all people contacted.
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