How’s Life? is part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, which aims to promote “Better Policies for Better Lives”, in line with the OECD’s overarching mission. It is a statistical report released every two to three years that documents a wide range of well-being outcomes and how they vary over time, between population groups, and across countries. This assessment is based on a multi-dimensional framework covering 11 dimensions of current well-being and four different types of systemic resources that help to support well-being over time. This fifth edition of the OECD’s How’s Life? report charts whether life is getting better for people in 37 OECD countries and 4 partner countries, and presents the latest evidence from an updated set of over 80 well-being indicators. For the first time, How’s Life? 2020 is also accompanied by a publically accessible well-being database, available online at OECD.Stat (

The report was prepared by the Household Statistics and Progress Measurement Division of the OECD Statistics and Data Directorate. Lead authors for each of the chapters were: Lara Fleischer (Chapter 1, 5, 12 and 16), Anil Aplman and Carlotta Balestra (Chapter 10 and 11), Carrie Exton (Chapter 8 and 14), Hae Ryun Kim (Chapter 3 and 13), Jessica Mahoney (Chapter 6 and 15), Joshua Monje-Jelfs  Chapter 9) and Elena Tosetto (Chapter 2, 4 and 7). Lara Fleischer led the project, which was supervised by Carrie Exton, edited by Marco Mira d’Ercole and Martine Durand, and published under the direction of Paul Schreyer. Martine Zaida is the communications coordinator for How’s Life? and has provided essential support throughout. Christine Le Thi provided excellent statistical support and led the development of the well-being database. Sonia Primot designed the new Well-being Framework diagram featured in this report, and Mayank Sharma created the infographics in the country profiles.

We are grateful to many colleagues around the OECD for their help, comments and insights, either on draft text, or on specific queries. They include, but are not limited to: Willem Adema, Aimée Aguilar Jaber, Christine Arndt-Bascle, Mario Barreto, Simon Buckle, Marie-Clemence Canaud, Philip Chan, Michele Cecchini, Richard Clarke, Paul Davidson, Veronique Feypell, Michael Förster, Pauline Fron, Ivan Hascic, Emily Hewett, Alexander Hijzen, Katia Karousakis, Nicolaas Sieds Klazinga, Sebastian Königs, Maxime Ladaique, Gaetan Lafortune, Myriam Linster, Pascal Marianna, Mauro Migotto, Fabrice Murtin, Stephen Perkins, Marissa Plouin, Sonia Primot, Alexandre Santacreu, Bettina Wistrom, Isabelle Ynesta and Jorrit Zwijnenburg.

The in-house publications and production team consisted of Carmen Fernandez Biezma, Vincent Finat-Duclos, Audrey Garrigoux, Kate Lancaster and Janine Treves while Patrick Hamm provided editorial guidance, and Paul Gallagher provided advice on the executive summary. Anne-Lise Faron prepared and formatted the manuscript for publication. All are very gratefully acknowledged for their work and support.

The report has benefited from helpful comments on early drafts provided by national delegates to the OECD Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy (CSSP). Their contributions and advice are kindly acknowledged and we hope the resulting product can be useful for their work.

Finally, How’s Life? 2020 has benefitted from several revisions to the OECD Well-being Framework laid out in the working paper “The future of the OECD Well-being Dashboard”. We wish to thank all internal and external participants, including the national delegates to CSSP, who participated.

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