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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.

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Safety

Safety is about freedom from harm – whether that harm comes in the form of crime, conflict, violence, terrorism, accidents or natural disasters. Across OECD countries, the homicide rate has fallen by one-third since 2010, to just over 2 per 100 000 people. 71% of people in OECD countries report feeling safe when walking alone at night, up from 67% in 2010-12. Among the 31 OECD countries with available data, road deaths have fallen by over 20%, on average since 2010. While 79% of men feel safe when walking alone at night, only 62% of women do. Nevertheless, the gap between men and women has narrowed since 2006-12. The middle-aged and tertiary-educated tend to feel safer, on average, than groups of other ages and education. Men are at higher risk of homicide than women in all but four OECD countries.

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