How's Life in the Digital Age?

Opportunities and Risks of the Digital Transformation for People's Well-being

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This report documents how the ongoing digital transformation is affecting people’s lives across the 11 key dimensions that make up the How’s Life? Well-being Framework (Income and wealth, Jobs and earnings, Housing, Health status, Education and skills, Work-life balance, Civic engagement and governance, Social connections, Environmental quality, Personal security, and Subjective well-being). A summary of existing studies highlights 39 key impacts of the digital transformation on people’s well-being. The review shows that these impacts can be positive as digital technologies expand the boundaries of information availability and enhance human productivity, but can also imply risks for people’s well-being, ranging from cyber-bullying to the emergence of disinformation or cyber-hacking. In sum, making digitalisation work for people’s well-being would require building equal digital opportunities, widespread digital literacy and strong digital security. Continued research and efforts in improving statistical frameworks will be needed to expand our knowledge on the many topics covered in this report.




How’s Life in the Digital Age? is the first topical report in the new How’s Life? monograph series. How’s Life? is the flagship publication of the OECD Better Life Initiative, which aims to promote “Better Policies for Better Lives”, in line with the OECD’s overarching mission. While the main How’s Life? report is released every two years, a series of shorter monographs focusing on specific issues will now be published on a regular basis. How’s Life in the Digital Age? documents how the ongoing digital transformation is affecting people’s lives, based on the multi-dimensional framework used in How’s Life? to monitor progress in the key dimensions of people’s well-being. This report is also an input to the OECD Going Digital Initiative, which aims to describe the many facets of the digital transformation throughout a series of publications.


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