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Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2011

image of Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2011

This is the second edition of Society at a Glance Asia -Pacific, the biennial OECD overview of social indicators. This report addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends. This report includes a special chapter on unpaid work. It also provides a guide to help readers in understanding the structure of social indicators and a summary. Part II reports on social indicators, including chapters covering the general context, self-sufficiency, equity, health, and social cohesion.

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How do People in the Asia/Pacific Region Spend their Time?

This special chapter considers time-use patterns across Asia/Pacific countries and economies and compares these to OECD patterns. It focuses particularly on unpaid work and free-time. Unpaid work within the home includes cooking, cleaning, shopping and raising children. Unpaid work contributes significantly to the well-being of families and others. Focussing solely on market income measures, rather than also considering unpaid work, may lead to incorrect inferences about levels and changes in well-being. Since women typically do much of the unpaid work, considering unpaid work acknowledges the importance of a major female contribution to well-being. In addition to unpaid work within the household, people carry out vital unremunerated work for relatives who live outside the household and for the wider community. Voluntary work, such as helping out neighbours, caring for older people and people with disabilities, aiding charities, assisting new immigrants, training sports teams and administering schools, also contributes to societal well-being but is not included in traditional economic measures. Traditional income-based measures of well-being also neglect the measurement of the amount of free time and leisure time that people have available to them. Leisure time is self-evidently an important component of people’s well-being.

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