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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 Italy?

Italy is more exposed to the risks of the digital transformation than it reaps the benefits, relative to other OECD countries. Internet use and the variety of activities that people use the Internet for is low compared to other countries. At the same time, the level of inequality of uses of the Internet is among the highest of OECD countries, meaning that while a small group of people use the Internet for a broad range of activities, the majority of people has not benefited from a large variety of online uses. Because relatively few people use the Internet compared to other OECD countries, the life satisfaction gains from having access to the Internet are comparatively small. People in Italy have benefited a fair amount from lower extended job strain due to computer-based jobs, but information industries contribute relatively little to overall employment and an estimated 15% of jobs are at high risk of automation, which is above the OECD average. Italy is exposed to a few other key risks of the digital transformation, most notably a widely reported lack of ICT skills among teachers, with 36% of teachers indicating a high need to develop their ICT skills.

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