What is the recipe for a better life – a good education, clean air, nice home, more money? The OECD Better Life Index shows you how your country measures up on the topics important to you.
There is more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics. We all know this is true, but the current economic and financial crisis has re-focussed attention on those other elements. The trick is deciding what actually makes for a better life, and how to measure progress.
After all, economic growth is not an end in itself – the point of growth is to deliver better lives for people across society. It was already becoming clear in the years before the crisis that GDP alone was not cutting the mustard – during the boom years inequality was widening in most OECD countries, and more money was not making people happier. But what else should we be measuring to get the full picture? The OECD started looking at this question more than a decade ago; and work such as the Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Commission in France, and more recently national initiatives like the UK's programme Measuring National Well-Being.
The OECD Better Life Initiative took the process a step further in 2011 with an internationally comparable set of well-being indicators (How's Life? report) and its interactive tool, the Better Life Index, which invites users to look at how their country measures up on the issues that matter to them, across a range of topics from clean air to education, from income to health.