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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 Austria?

In general, Austria is moderately exposed to both the opportunities and risks of the digital transformation, compared to other OECD countries. People in Austria have high rates of access to broadband Internet and make use of a wide variety of online activities (7 out of a list of 10 online activities are used by more than 50% of the population). The inequality of uses of the Internet is a bit below the OECD average, meaning that the benefit from internet uses is fairly widespread across the population. In addition, the availability of digital resources at school is high, and people in Austria have relatively high levels of digital skills. On the other hand, few people in Austria make use of online education, with only 5% of people having followed an online course in the last 3 months. The level of online consumption as well as that of open government stand above the average while the level of employment in ICT is below the average. Finally, the scores of opportunity (digital social networking) and risk (children experiencing cyberbullying) from the social connection domain are below the average.

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