How's Life? 2020

Measuring Well-being

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How’s Life? charts whether life is getting better for people in 37 OECD countries and 4 partner countries. This fifth edition presents the latest evidence from an updated set of over 80 indicators, covering current well-being outcomes, inequalities, and resources for future well-being. Since 2010, people’s well-being has improved in many respects, but progress has been slow or deteriorated in others, including how people connect with each other and their government. Large gaps by gender, age and education persist across most well-being outcomes. Generally, OECD countries that do better on average also feature greater equality between population groups and fewer people living in deprivation. Many OECD countries with poorer well-being in 2010 have since experienced the greatest gains. However, advances in current well-being have not always been matched by improvements in the resources that sustain well-being over time, with warning signs emerging across natural, human, economic and social capital. Beyond an overall analysis of well-being trends since 2010, this report explores in detail the 15 dimensions of the OECD Better Life Initiative, including health, subjective well-being, social connections, natural capital, and more, and looks at each country’s performance in dedicated country profiles.

English Also available in: French

Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement is about whether citizens can and do take part in important civic activities that enable them to shape the society they live in. Voter turnout in OECD countries has remained relatively stable since 2010-13, and was around 69% between 2016-19. By contrast, only 1 in 3 people in OECD countries feel that they have a say in what the government does. While older people are more likely to vote, the middle-aged are most likely to feel they have a say – though these patterns vary across OECD countries. 84% of people who have finished tertiary education say they voted, compared to 78% of those educated to secondary level. Gender differences are generally small – and parity has been reached for the OECD on average in both voter turnout and having a say in government. Nevertheless, some countries still have gender gaps in this domain, and these tend to favour women.

English Also available in: French


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