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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 Germany?

In general, Germany performs relatively well across the different well-being dimensions in the context of the digital age, as it reaps more opportunities than the average OECD country and is subject to fewer risks. The share of people who use the Internet and the variety of activities that people use the Internet for is high compared to other OECD countries. German adults are in the top tier when it comes to digital skills, with 37% of people scoring at an intermediate level in problem-solving in technology-rich environments, which comes with a low digital skills gap. By contrast, Germany is facing high risk of job automation, with a total of 54.2% of jobs at risk of automation. The relatively low share of workers with computer-based jobs does limit the job stress and worries about work when not working associated with digital jobs. The exposure to disinformation is one of the lowest in OECD countries (9%). At the same time, the number of people reporting that they could not access e-government services due to lack of skills is slightly above the OECD average. In addition, efforts to open government data in Germany are limited compared to other countries, according to the OECD OURdata Index.

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