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Society at a Glance 2009

OECD Social Indicators

image of Society at a Glance 2009

Society at a Glance offers a concise quantitative overview of social trends and policies across the OECD. This 2009 edition includes a wide range of information on social issues – such as demography and family characteristics, employment and unemployment, poverty and inequality, social and health care expenditure, and work and life satisfaction –as well as a guide to help readers understand the structure of OECD social indicators. 

In addition to updating some of the indicators from previous editions, Society at a Glance 2009 adds several new and innovative social indicators, including adult height, perceived health status, risky youth behaviour and bullying. For the first time, the report also provides a condensed set of headline social indicators summarising social well-being in OECD countries. In addition, a special chapter examines leisure time across the OECD.

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Special Focus

Measuring Leisure in OECD Countries

The amount and quality of leisure time is important for people’s well-being for the direct satisfaction it brings. Additionally, leisure, taken in certain ways, is important for physical and mental health. Leisure also contributes to the well-being of people other than the person directly enjoying leisure. When a person engages in leisure, the benefits gained are shared with others in a multitude of ways, including improvements in personal relationships, family functioning, and in terms of creation of social capital networks (at least from some types of shared leisure). Leisure time patterns across the OECD therefore warrant investigation as an important part of social monitoring.

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