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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 the Netherlands?

People in the Netherlands benefit substantially from the opportunities offered by the digital transformation compared to other OECD countries, yet they are also exposed to a few key risks. Access to Internet and Internet use, both in terms of the share of users and the variety of online activities that people participate in are high compared to other OECD countries. People in the Netherlands have relatively high levels of digital skills, and these skills are relatively equally distributed across the population. This allows high levels of participation in key online activities in various well-being dimensions, and 37% of Dutch people engage in the online sale of goods and services, more than in any other OECD country. They are also among the most avid tele-workers in the OECD. However, the high prevalence of computer-based jobs also means that a relatively large share of workers experience job stress and worries about work outside of work time. In addition, children in the Netherlands are relatively prone to extreme use of the Internet, with 33% of children using the Internet for more than six hours on a typical weekend day.

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