How's Life? 2020

Measuring Well-being

image of How's Life? 2020

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

Natural Capital

Natural Capital concerns both natural assets (e.g. natural land cover, biodiversity) and ecosystems and their services (e.g. oceans, forests, soil and the atmosphere). This chapter examines stocks and flows into and out of these natural systems, as well as risk and resilience factors affecting them. The share of land covered by natural vegetation ranges from 6% to 90% across OECD countries, and those with the lowest stocks are experiencing some of the greatest losses. More marine and land areas in OECD countries have been given protected status since 2010, but species diversity (measured by the Red List Index) is under greater threat. Total OECD greenhouse gas emissions from production have fallen by 4% since 2010, but on a global level they have increased 1.5 fold since 1990. Renewables play a minor role in most OECD countries’ energy mix, and material footprints per capita have increased since 2010.

English Also available in: French


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error