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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 New Zealand?

Unfortunately, a large number of indicators of opportunities and risks of the digital transformation are missing for New Zealand, limiting a comprehensive assessment of impacts, particularly for risks of the digital transformation. Where data is available, however, evidence suggests that people in New Zealand have high access to some of the opportunities of the digital transformation, but are also exposed to some risks. Internet use in New Zealand is widespread and the share of people with digital skills is among the highest in the OECD, while inequalities in digital skills are very low. In addition, many students have access to digital resources in the classroom, relative to other OECD countries. However, children in New Zealand are also exposed to the risks of the digital transformation, with 28% of 15-year-olds spending more than 6 hours on the Internet on a weekend day. People in New Zealand are less affected by some other risks. New Zealand has the second lowest share of jobs at risk of automation in the OECD and relatively few people have experienced digital security risks, although data for this last indicator is less recent than for other OECD countries.

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