This is the ninth edition of Society at a Glance, the OECD’s biennial overview of social indicators. As with its predecessors, this report addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends across OECD countries. It updates some indicators included in the previous eight editions and introduces several new ones. Data on Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, India, Indonesia, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia and South Africa are included separately where available.

This edition of Society at a Glance puts the spotlight on lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) individuals, as they still suffer from various forms of discrimination. Indeed, there is still a long way to go before LGBT people meet full-fledged acceptance in OECD countries. Only half of OECD countries have legalised same-sex marriage throughout their national territory, and less than a third allow for a change of gender on official documents to match gender identity without forcing the transgender person to undergo sterilisation, sex-reassignment surgery, hormonal therapy or a psychiatric diagnosis. Steps backward have also been witnessed. Yet, discrimination is not only ethically unacceptable, it also entails substantial economic and social costs. The inclusion of sexual and gender minorities should therefore become a top policy priority for OECD governments.

Chapter 1 provides a comprehensive overview of data and evidence on the size of sexual and gender minorities and their socio-economic situation. It also highlights best practices to create more inclusive environments for LGBT people. The rest of the report compares a wide range of social outcomes across countries. Chapter 2 provides a guide to help readers understand the structure of OECD social indicators. Chapter 3 presents new indicators on people’s perceptions of social risks and government effectiveness, while Chapters 4 to 8 then consider these indicators in more detail. Additional information on indicators can be found on the OECD web pages (

This report was prepared by Pauline Fron, Maxime Ladaique, Veerle Miranda (project leader), Marie-Anne Valfort (Chapter 1) and Valerie Frey (Chapter 3), with valuable contributions from James Brown, Chris Clarke, Carrie Exton (Statistics and Data Directorate), Rodrigo Fernandez, Gaëlle Ferrant (Development Centre), Elif Koksal-Oudot (Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation), Michael Förster, Gaétan Lafortune, Fabio Manca, Pascal Marianna, Marissa Plouin, Sarah Strapps and Cécile Thoreau from the Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs. Monika Queisser, Head of the OECD Social Policy Division, supervised the report.

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