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Education Indicators in Focus

Education Indicators in Focus is a recurring series of briefs that highlight specific indicators in OECD’s Education at a Glance that are of particular interest to policy makers and practitioners. They provide a detailed look into current issues in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, higher education, and adult outcomes from a global perspective, and contain an engaging mix of text, tables and charts that describe the international context of the most pressing questions in education policy and practice.

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How are health and life satisfaction related to education?

Since 2009, Education at a Glance (EAG) has included an indicator on education and social outcomes using data from different surveys. The OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) develops and conducts the Survey of Adult Skills which measures adults’ proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. Data collected through the Survey of Adult Skills were used in various editions of EAG as it gathered rich information on various social outcomes. In EAG 2016, Indicator A8 (How are social outcomes related to education?) used this source to measure the association between educational attainment and self-reported health. This indicator also analysed data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) on the prevalence of limitations that affect people’s ability to perform normal daily activities across the different educational attainment levels. Finally, it referred to the Gallup World Poll to analyse how life satisfaction varied across the different countries and educational attainment levels. The main findings are further developed in this paper.

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