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How's Life? 2015 - Key findings


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How’s Life? 2015 describes the essential ingredients that shape people’s well-being in OECD and other major economies. It includes a wide variety of statistics, capturing both material well-being and quality of life. This third edition includes a special focus on child well-being, on volunteering and on inequalities in well-being across different regions within countries.

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How's Life? 2015 - Key findings

  1. 1. How’s Life? 2015 Measuring well-being 13 October 2015
  2. 2. The OECD well-being framework • People rather than economic system or GDP • Outcomes rather than inputs and outputs • Both averages and inequalities • Both objective and subjective aspects • Both today and tomorrow 36 countries • OECD • Brazil • RussiaSource: OECD (2011) How’s Life? Measuring Well-Being, OECD Publishing, Paris,
  3. 3. Inside the 2015 edition How’s Life? in figures: an update on well-being, and changes since 2009 Resources for future well-being How’s life for children? The value of giving: Volunteering and well-being Going local: Measuring well-being in regions
  4. 4. Well-being strengths and weaknesses vary across countries • While some countries do better than others across several dimensions of well- being, no country “has it all”. Every OECD country has some areas of comparative strength, and some areas of comparative weakness • Some aspects of well-being (e.g. household income, earnings, wealth and water quality) are generally better in OECD countries with the highest levels of GDP per capita. But even some of the highest-GDP OECD countries still face challenges in terms of work-life balance, unemployment risk, personal safety and life expectancy • Challenges in relation to air quality, unemployment risk, housing affordability, and work-life balance can occur at all levels of GDP per capita in the OECD • Countries with similar levels of GDP per capita can have very different “profiles” of performance across the indicators • This underlines the value of going “beyond GDP” to understand well-being
  5. 5. Are lives getting better? The picture since 2009 is mixed… • OECD average household income increased by 1.9% between 2009-2013. However, in one third of countries, household income in 2013 was lower than in 2009. • Long-term unemployment in 2014 remains higher than in 2009 for two thirds of OECD countries • Housing has become less affordable in over one third of OECD countries. However, access to basic sanitation has improved • 1 in 8 employees in the OECD routinely work very long hours (50 or more per week). This has gone up slightly since 2009 • Voter turnout has declined in two thirds of OECD countries, when compared to 2007 levels Almost all countries have experienced further gains in upper secondary educational attainment rates since 2009 • Life expectancy now exceeds 80 years in more than two-thirds of OECD countries, and average life expectancy has increased by 9 months since 2009
  6. 6. How’s life for children? • How’s Life? 2015 includes a focus on child well-being for the first time • Measures follow the OECD framework for measuring well-being, but adopt a child- centred perspective • Various data sources are used, but most countries have some data gaps
  7. 7. Not all children are getting a good start in life • 1 in 10 children in the OECD live in homes where no adult has a job • 1 in 10 children report being bullied at least twice in the past 2 months in OECD countries • 1 in 7 children live in income poverty, and this has risen since 2007 in more than two thirds of OECD countries 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 2011 2007 Child poverty rate Percentage of children aged 0-17 living in households whose disposable income is below 50% of the median Note: The latest available year is 2012 for Australia, Hungary, Mexico and the Netherlands; 2010 for Belgium and 2009 for Japan. Source: OECD Income Distribution Database,
  8. 8. Child well-being varies around the OECD AUT BEL CAN CHE CZEDEU DNK ESP EST FIN FRA GBR GRC HUN IRL ISL ITA LUX NLD NOR POL PRT SVK SVNSWE TUR USA 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% Shareofchildwell-beingindicatorswhereacountryisamong thetopthirdperformers Share of child well-being indicators where a country is among the bottom third perfomers
  9. 9. Children pay a high price for inequalities among adults On average, children from less affluent families find it harder to talk to their parents… …and are less satisfied with their lives 83% 87% 83% 74% 82% 84% 70% 75% 80% 85% 90% Belgium OECD Italy Share of children who find it easy to talk to at least one parent High socio-economic status Low socio-economic status National average 8.2 7.8 7.8 7.0 7.1 7.5 6.5 7 7.5 8 Iceland OECD Ireland Children’s average life satisfaction score (0-10 scale)
  10. 10. Child health inequalities can be striking …and are more likely to be obese Children from less affluent families are more likely to report poor health… 10% 11% 7% 23% 18% 10% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% Netherlands OECD Switzerland Teenagers reporting fair or poor health 7% 2% 3% 14% 4% 2% 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 United States OECD Poland Obesity High socio-economic status Low socio-economic status National average
  11. 11. Parental time with children differs widely across countries 0 50 100 150 200 250 300 Physical care, supervision (mothers) Teaching, reading, playing with child (mothers) Physical care, supervision (fathers) Teaching, reading, playing with child (fathers) Time (in minutes) is reported through time-use diaries, and refers to primary activities. Physical care includes childcare and child supervision, as well as (in most countries) time spent transporting children. In Ireland and Korea, physical care does not include time spent on transporting children.
  12. 12. Volunteering can offer win-wins for well-being • 1 in 3 people of working age volunteer through an organisation at least once a year in OECD countries … ranging from 18% in Spain and the Czech Republic, to 55% in the United States and Norway • The value of the time people spend on volunteering amounts to around 2% of GDP on average in the OECD • Volunteers have higher skills and earn around 14% more than non-volunteers • Volunteers tend to be healthier and more satisfied with their lives than non-volunteers • Time-use data from the United States suggests that on days when people volunteer, they gain an extra hour of happiness
  13. 13. Volunteering rates vary with education, employment status and income 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% OECD average Percentage of the working-age population reporting that they volunteered through an organisation during the past 12 months Primary Tertiary Education level Unemployed Full-time employed Lower HigherMiddle Employment status Household income
  14. 14. Where you live affects your opportunities to live well … and differences within countries can be larger than differences between them
  15. 15. Upper secondary educational attainment varies by region
  16. 16. Regional differences in PM2.5 air pollution can be large Yucatan Sardinia Magallanes yAntártica EasternBlackSea Jeju Tyrol Limousin Alaska Hokkaido Pomerania UpperNorrland Nunavut Southwest Ticino CanaryIslands Mecklenburg- Vorpommern NorthernJutland Azores NorthernIreland Athens NorthNetherlands CentralSlovakia CentralDistrict Trøndelag Tasmania SouthernTransdanubia WesternFinland FlemishRegion EasternSloveniaBorder,Midland andWestern South Island Other Regions Morelos Lombardy Tarapacá Southeastern Anatolia-East Capital Region Vorarlberg Alsace DistrictofColumbia Southern-Kanto Silesia SouthSweden Ontario Moravia-Silesia Zurich Melilla Berlin Capital North NorthWestEngland NorthernGreece SouthNetherlands WestSlovakia SouthernDistrict South-EasternNorway NorthernTerritory NorthernGreatPlain Helsinki-UusimaaBrussels CapitalRegion WesternSlovenia SouthernandEastern NorthIsland CapitalRegion Estonia Luxembourg -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 Min Country average Max
  17. 17. How’s Life? 2015 also makes a start at monitoring resources for future well-being…
  18. 18. What can be said so far? Natural capital Human capital • OECD per capita emissions of greenhouse gases have decreased since 2000, but global atmospheric concentrations continue to rise • Forest area per capita has decreased 7% in the OECD area since 2000, in the context of large worldwide net losses • Biodiversity is often at risk: the proportion of threatened mammals, plants and birds (as a share of all known species) exceeds 20% in around one third of OECD countries • The share of 25-34 year olds completing upper secondary education has increased by 8 percentage points since 2000 in the OECD • In terms of risks to future health, smoking has declined since 2000, with 18.5% of OECD residents reporting that they smoke every day in 2012, down from 23.8% in 2000. • However, obesity is on the rise, with 21.8% of the OECD population now considered obese (up from 17.8% in 2000) • The sharp increase in long-term unemployment during the Great Recession also puts human capital at risk – particularly where much of the burden falls on young people
  19. 19. Social capital Economic capital • Trust in other people is highest in Denmark, Finland and Norway, and lowest in France, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and Portugal (European data only) • For the average European OECD country, trust in the police is higher than trust in the legal system, and trust in the political system is the lowest of all 3 institutions • Trust, voting, and volunteering are lower among more disadvantaged groups • Household debt (as a % of disposable income) is higher now than in 2000 in almost all OECD countries. In around half, it has increased further since the start of the crisis • Gross fixed capital formation in the OECD remains sluggish, following a very sharp decrease in 2009 • Between 2000 and 2013, most OECD countries saw a reduction in the financial net worth of government as a % of GDP Resources for future well-being
  20. 20. Read How’s Life? 2015 and our country snapshots free online at: THANK YOU! For any questions, please contact