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Society at a Glance 2011

OECD Social Indicators

image of Society at a Glance 2011

This sixth edition of Society at a Glance, OECD's biennial overview of social indicators,  updates some indicators from previous volumes and introduces several new ones. It also features a special chapter on unpaid work. It includes data on the four newest OECD members: Chile, Estonia, Israel and Slovenia. Where available, data on major emerging economies Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa are also included.

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Leaving low income from benefits

The indicators show gross earnings levels expressed as a percentage of average full time earnings, required for a family to reach a 60% median income threshold from benefits of last resort. Benefits of last resort are paid when all other sources of income are exhausted. 60% was shown because many countries have benefits of last resort above 50%. Benefit income includes family-related benefits and housing benefits (with and without), on top of core benefits. It is expressed as a percentage of average full-time wages. Income tax and social security as well as tax-related benefits are also counted. The indicators are shown for 2009 and for lone-parents and couples with two children aged 4 and 6. In the married-couple case, a one earner couple is assumed. Family incomes in these situations are simulated using the OECD Tax-Benefit Model (methodology available in Benefits and Wages 2007). Median incomes come from Growing Unequal? (2008). They relate to the mid-2000s and are converted to 2009 prices. No bars are shown for countries where the sum of all benefits, excluding earnings, exceeds 60% of median income. For Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Switzerland, Turkey and Korea, the indicators are for 2008.

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