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How's Life? 2015

Measuring Well-being

image of How's Life? 2015

How’s Life? describes the essential ingredients that shape people’s well-being in OECD and partner countries. It includes a wide variety of statistics, capturing both material well-being (such as income, jobs and housing) and the broader quality of people’s lives (such as their health, education, work-life balance, environment, social connections, civic engagement, subjective well-being and safety). The report documents the latest evidence on well-being, as well as changes over time, and the distribution of well-being outcomes among different groups of the population.

This third edition of How’s Life? develops our understanding of well-being in new ways. There is a special focus on child well-being, which finds that not all children are getting a good start in life, and those living in less affluent families face more risks to their well-being. The report introduces new measures to capture some of the natural, human, social and economic resources that play a role in supporting well-being over time. A chapter on volunteering suggests that volunteer work can create a virtuous circle: doing good makes people feel good, and brings a variety of other well-being benefits to both volunteers and to society at large. Finally, the report looks at inequalities in well-being across different regions within countries, demonstrating that where people live can shape their opportunities for living well.

How’s Life? is part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, which features a series of publications on measuring well-being, as well as the Better Life Index, an interactive website that aims to involve citizens in the debate about what a better life means to them.

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Going local

Measuring well-being in regions

This chapter provides a framework and a set of indicators to assess well-being in OECD sub-national regions. Circumstances in the place where people live are important elements to consider in order to obtain a thorough picture of their well-being, which is shaped by a combination of individual attributes and place characteristics. The indicators presented in this chapter cover nine dimensions of well-being and include aspects of both material conditions and quality of life. The chapter provides evidence on the regional disparities in the different well-being dimensions and includes an assessment of income inequality and poverty within regions. Finally, the main steps to be implemented in order to improve the measurement of well-being at sub-national level in the future are discussed.

English French, Spanish

Graphs

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