Sustainable Innovation


Measuring Well-Being by the OECD
May 24, 2011, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Sustainability News | Tags: , , ,

 

  

 

Why would you like to live in a certain country ? When are people ‘happy’ – and where ? How to define ‘Well-Being’?

The OECD has launched a new Index to measure ‘Well-Being’. The ‘Your Better Life’ Index’ has been developed in response to requests of a growing group of people who see the shortfalls of GDP as the sole indicator for Well-Being.

The Well-Being tool is based on 11 indicators. It is accessable via  http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/. Perimeters are related to either material aspects or quality of life : housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance. The tool is interactive : By adding your personal weights for the different indicators ‘You can choose how you can make your life better’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remarkable differences can be unveiled whilst analysing country scores and Compendium details Take for instance France and The Netherlands :

France has relatively high scores in many measures.  French people sleep on average the most hours compared to all OECD countries (8,5 hours), they spend the most time eating and drinking per day (about 3 hours) and the country has the highest fertility rate among the European OECD countries : close to 2,1 children per woman. Given the high scores on other indicators the proportion of the population that reports to be happy about their own lives (51%) is relatively low, compared to 59% of the OECD average.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Netherlands is another country with high values on the ‘Well-Being’ perimeters. Almost all indicators event point at a higher score than France – except  ‘Environmental Quality’ – which is because of the relative high concentration of small particles in the air (‘PM10 levels’ of 30.8 micrograms per m2).  To the contraryof France no less htan 91% of the Dutch people say they are satisfied with their own life. People in The Netherlandswork work on average only 1378 hours a year. This notably due to the large proportion of part-time workers. Over 93% of 11-15 year old children report above average life satisfaction.

The tool seems rather useful to make weighted judgements between countries. As it is also easy to use it offers opportunities to launch discussions on peoples well-being by both politicians as well as citizens.

More information : 

Video about theYour Better Life Index : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_ywE5xqIxw&NR=1

Background : http://oecdinsights.org/ and : http://www.oecdobserver.org/news/fullstory.php/aid/3501/Better_measures_for_better_lives.html

Summary of French Societal Factors : http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/39/22/47572947.pdf

Gender Inequality in France still present – action required : http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/46/47700963.pdf

Relatively happy families and work balance in The Netherlands  : http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/61/29/47701063.pdf

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