How's Life? 2017

Measuring Well-being

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How’s Life? 2017 charts the promises and pitfalls for people’s well-being in 35 OECD countries and 6 partner countries. It presents the latest evidence from 50 indicators, covering both current well-being outcomes and resources for future well-being, and including changes since 2005. During this period there have been signs of progress, but gains in some aspects of life have been offset by losses elsewhere. This fourth edition highlights the many faces of inequality, showing that gaps in people’s achievements and opportunities extend right across the different dimensions of well-being. It exposes divisions according to age, gender, and education, and reveals pockets of inequality in all OECD countries. It also brings to light the many well-being disadvantages that migrants face in adapting to life abroad. Additionally, the report examines governance as seen from the citizen’s perspective, revealing gaps between public institutions and the people they serve. Finally, it provides a country-by-country perspective, pinpointing strengths, challenges and changes in well-being over time in 41 country profiles.

How’s Life? is part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, which features a range of studies and analysis about people’s well-being and how to measure it, and includes the interactive Better Life Index website.


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How's Life in 2017?

A key reason for measuring well-being is to understand whether, where and how life is getting better for people. This chapter provides an overview of OECD countries’ achievements across 11 dimensions of current well-being and four different “capital stocks” that help to sustain well-being over time. It features a diverse set of statistics, ranging from household wealth to time spent on leisure, and from air pollution to how safe people feel walking alone at night. Since the last 10 years have been a turbulent time in most OECD economies, the chapter has a particular focus on changes in people’s well-being. It seeks to address the simple question: is life today better or worse than it was in 2005, before the financial crisis took hold? The overview provided here is complemented by , which examines inequalities in current well-being outcomes, and , which provides profiles of each OECD country and 6 OECD partner countries.

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