This report examines the emerging evidence on well-being outcomes for OECD countries in the first 15 months after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (i.e. March 2020 – June 2021). As part of the How’s Life? series of reports, it follows the structure of the OECD Well-Being Framework, spanning current well-being, inclusion and sustainability. Thus, the report provides a holistic picture of how people’s lives have been affected so far, how these impacts have differed across population groups, and what is happening to the stocks of resources (natural, economic, human and social capital) that help to sustain well-being over time. In addition, the report considers how a well-being lens can inform policy development and the design of pandemic recovery strategies, as well as to achieve stronger strategic alignment across public agencies and between public, private and civil society actors.

The report was prepared by the OECD WISE Centre. The authoring team consisted of: Margreet Frieling (Chapter 1); Gaia Bottura (Chapters 2 and 5); Jessica Mahoney (Chapters 3, 6 and 9); Lara Fleischer (Chapters 4, 7 and 10); Hae Ryun Kim (Chapter 8); and Carrie Exton (Chapter 11). Statistical support was provided by Mónica Quinza Armenta. Carrie Exton led the project and content editing, Marco Mira d’Ecole provided additional supervision and editing, and the report was published under the direction of Romina Boarini. Martine Zaida, Anne-Lise Faron, Julia Carro and Sonia Primot coordinated and assisted communications and publishing, and Gísli Gylfason designed the country profiles. Meral Gedik formatted and typeset the manuscript for publication. Patrick Hamm copy edited the work.

The report has benefitted from valuable comments provided by national delegates to the OECD Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy and the Working Party on Social Policy under the OECD Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Committee. Their contributions and advice are very gratefully acknowledged.

We are also grateful to many colleagues in the OECD and beyond for their help, comments, insights and data, and edits either on draft text or in relation to specific queries. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Andrea Bassanini, Sandrine Cazes, Michele Cecchini, Valerie Frey, Pauline Fron, Emily Hewlett, Alexander Hijzen, Chris James, Sebastian Könings, Gaetan Lafortune, Thomas Liebig, Pascal Marianna, David Morgan, Veronica Nilsson, Marissa Plouin, Christopher Prinz, Glenda Quintini, Angelica Salvi Del Pero, Shunta Takino and Chloé Touzet (OECD Employment, Labour and Social Affairs Directorate);

  • Aimée Augilar Jaber, Katia Karousakis and Edward Perry (OECD Environment Directorate);

  • Tracey Burns and Miyako Ikeda (OECD Education Directorate);

  • Benoît Arnaud, Rachida Dkhissi, Annabelle Mourougane, Bettina Wistrom, Isabelle Ynesta, and Jorrit Zwijnenburg (OECD Statistics and Data Directorate);

  • Boris Cournede and Federica De Pace (OECD Economics Department);

  • Nadim Ahmad, Andrés Fuentes Hutfilter, Andrew Paterson, Lisanne Raderschall, and Paolo Veneri, (OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities);

  • Monica Brezzi, Marcos Díaz Ramírez, Santiago Gonzalez (OECD Public Governance Directorate);

  • Janine Treves (OECD Public Affairs and Communications Directorate);

  • Mario Barreto and Rachele Poggi (International Transport Forum);

  • Musa Erdogan and Timothy Goodson (International Energy Agency);

  • Jorge Castro, Mental Health Evidence & Research (World Health Organization);

  • Susan Purcell, Market Strategy & Understanding (Ipsos);

  • Hannes Kroeger and Laura Buchinger, (German Institute for Economic Research, DIW Berlin);

  • Ezter Sandor, Sarah Farrell and Daphne Nathalie Ahrendt (Eurofound).

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