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Society at a Glance 2006

OECD Social Indicators

image of Society at a Glance 2006
OECD's biennial stocktaking of social indicators of OECD countries, this unique publication has been revised to be structurally similar to OECD's annual Factbook.  For each of the almost 40 indicators provided, a two-page spread shows on the left side definitions of indicators and commentaries on trends, while the right side shows tables and graphs highlighting key messages found in the data. This edition includes general context indicators such as income per capita, self-sufficiency indicators such as mothers in paid employment; equity indicators such as gender wage gaps; health indicators such as sick-related absences from work; and social cohesion indicators such as trust in political institutions. This edition includes StatLinks, URLs under each table and graph that link to Excel spreadsheets containing the underlying data.

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Indicators Framework and Assessment

The first question requires indicators covering a broad range of social issues. As social development requires health, education, economic resources and a stable basis for social interactions, indicators need to inform on all these dimensions. The second question is more challenging. Societies try to influence social outcomes, usually through government policy, and the question is whether such policies are effective in achieving their aims. Indicators help in making that assessment. A first step is to compare the changes in social outcomes that social policies try to influence with the scale of the resources that are used to that effect. While this comparison does not allow a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness of a particular programme, indicators can highlight areas where more analysis is needed.

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