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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.

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How's life in the digital age in Australia?

Compared to other OECD countries, Australia benefits substantially from the opportunities offered by the digital transformation, with high performance in the dimension of education and skills as well as high levels of Internet access and use. The share of people with digital skills in Australia is one of the highest in the OECD, and these skills are evenly distributed across the population. In addition, relatively few teachers in Australia report a lack of ICT skills. At the same time, people in Australia produce a high level of e-waste per person (23.6 kg per inhabitant). Children in Australia also face risks from the digital transformation, with 28% using the Internet for more than 6 hours on a weekend day. The assessment of benefits from the digital transformation in Australia should be interpreted with caution due to the unavailability of information on opportunities and risks in several domains such as work-life balance, jobs and earnings, digital security and subjective well-being.

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