OECD Better Life Index

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The OECD’s Better Life Initiative, launched in May 2011 following a decade of work on this issue, is a first attempt to bring together internationally comparable measures of well-being in line with the recommendations of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress also known as the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission. The recommendations made by this Commission sought to address concerns that standard macroeconomic statistics like GDP failed to give a true account of people’s current and future well-being.[1] The OECD Better Life Initiative includes two main elements: :"Your Better Life Index" and "How’s Life?"

Your Better Life Index (BLI),[2] launched in May 2011, is an interactive tool that allows people to compare countries’ performances according to their own preferences in terms of what makes for a better life. It was designed by Berlin-based agency Raureif in collaboration with Moritz Stefaner. First published on 24 May 2011, it includes 11 "dimensions" of well-being:[3]

  1. Housing: housing conditions and spendings (e.g. real estate pricing)
  2. Income: household income and financial wealth
  3. Jobs: earnings, job security and unemployment
  4. Community: quality of social support network
  5. Education: education and what you get out of it
  6. Environment: quality of environment (e.g. environmental health)
  7. Governance: involvement in democracy
  8. Health
  9. Life Satisfaction: level of happiness
  10. Safety: murder and assault rates
  11. Work-life balance

Each topic is built using one to three specific indicators. In the case of work-life balance, for example, three separate measures are considered: the number of employees working long hours; the percentage of working mothers; and the time people devote to leisure and personal activities. The BLI seeks to engage citizens in the discussion of what matters most in their lives and what governments should do to improve well-being.

Canberra, has been ranked as the world's most liveable city according to the OECD Better Life Index for the second consecutive year, based on results published on 6 October 2014 [4][5][6]

How’s Life?[7] offers a comprehensive picture of what makes up people’s lives in 40 countries worldwide. The report assesses the above 11 specific aspects of life as part of the OECD’s ongoing effort to devise new measures for assessing well-being that go beyond GDP.

The following list shows members of the OECD, with Russia and Brazil added, in order according to the survey.

  1.  Australia
  2.  Norway
  3.  Sweden
  4.  Denmark
  5.  Canada
  6.   Switzerland
  7.  United States
  8.  Finland
  9.  Netherlands
  10.  New Zealand
  11.  Iceland
  12.  United Kingdom
  13.  Belgium
  14.  Germany
  15.  Austria
  16.  Ireland
  17.  Luxembourg
  18.  France
  19.  Slovenia
  20.  Japan
  21.  Spain
  22.  Italy
  23.  Czech Republic
  24.  Israel
  25.  South Korea
  26.  Slovakia
  27.  Poland
  28.  Estonia
  29.  Portugal
  30.  Hungary
  31.  Chile
  32.  Brazil
  33.  Russia
  34.  Greece
  35.  Mexico
  36.  Turkey

New indicators and dimensions are planned be added to the Better Life Index in the future. For example, the Better Life Index was criticised for not showing inequalities in a society.[8] Future editions of the index are planned to take inequalities into account, by focusing on well-being achievements of specific groups of the population (women and men and low and high socio-economic status).

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