Society at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2019

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This is the fourth edition of Society at a Glance Asia/Pacific, the OECD’s overview of social indicators for the region. The report addresses the growing demand for quantitative evidence on social well-being and its trends across countries in Asia and the Pacific.  Chapter 1 introduces this volume and provides readers with a guide to help them interpret OECD social indicators. Chapter 2 focuses on issues around extending coverage and the future of social protection in Asia and the Pacific. Already, there are many workers in Asia and the Pacific whose job does not entitle them to social and health supports. Digitalisation and changes in the nature of work may lead to further job-loss, but also increase economic labour market and economic inequalities between high- and low-skilled workers; workers with and without access to social benefits. These rising inequalities will further challenge social policy development in its quest to get support to those who need it most. The chapter includes some country programme examples to illustrate possible policy responses. Chapter 3 to 7 each present five indicators on general context, self-sufficiency, equity, health and social cohesion.

English Also available in: Korean

Life expectancy

Life expectancy at birth is a general measure of a population’s health status, and is often used to gauge the development of a country’s health. Life expectancy at birth continues to rise in Asia and the Pacific, averaging about 74.2 years in 2016 up from 69.4 years in 2000 (). Since 2000 the largest increases in life expectancy were recorded for Cambodia (11.7 years), Lao PDR, and Nepal (7.7 years). This rapid growth is related to a number of factors, including rising living standards, better nutrition, water and sanitation, increased education and greater access to health services. Nevertheless, despite the significant increase, life expectancy in the Asia/Pacific still lags behind other world regions except Africa (UN World Population Prospects data, 2017).



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