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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 Canada?

Compared to other OECD countries, Canada benefits to a large degree from the opportunities offered by the digital transformation while being exposed to relatively low risks. People in Canada make high use of a variety of Internet activities. More people in Canada make use of the Internet for online education and finding and applying for jobs than in any other OECD country. In addition, Canada’s level of digital skills is well above the OECD average, with a relatively low accompanying digital skills gap, and few teachers reporting to lack ICT skills to perform their job (9%). Some other key risks of the digital transformation are relatively contained in Canada. Self-reported exposure to disinformation, at 19% is almost half that of its larger southern neighbour. In addition, the share of children reporting to be exposed to cyberbullying is lower than the OECD average. The assessment of benefits from the digital transformation in Canada should be interpreted with caution due to the unavailability of information on the Canada’s performance in several domains such as work-life balance, digital security and subjective well-being.

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