How’s Life? describes the essential ingredients that shape people’s well-being in OECD and partner countries. It includes a wide variety of statistics, capturing both material well-being (such as income, jobs and housing) and the broader quality of people’s lives (such as their health, education, work-life balance, environment, social connections, civic engagement, subjective well-being and safety). The report documents the latest evidence on well-being, as well as changes over time, and the distribution of well-being outcomes among different groups of the population.
This third edition of How’s Life? develops our understanding of well-being in new ways. There is a special focus on child well-being, which finds that not all children are getting a good start in life, and those living in less affluent families face more risks to their well-being. The report introduces new measures to capture some of the natural, human, social and economic resources that play a role in supporting well-being over time. A chapter on volunteering suggests that volunteer work can create a virtuous circle: doing good makes people feel good, and brings a variety of other well-being benefits to both volunteers and to society at large. Finally, the report looks at inequalities in well-being across different regions within countries, demonstrating that where people live can shape their opportunities for living well.
How’s Life? is part of the OECD Better Life Initiative, which features a series of publications on measuring well-being, as well as the Better Life Index, an interactive website that aims to involve citizens in the debate about what a better life means to them.
We have long known that there is more to life than GDP, and whilst GDP growth is important for a successful economy, it should not be the sole compass to guide us towards success more widely. What we need is a more sophisticated instrument, some sort of GPS to measure progress understood as the improvement of people's quality of life.
All countries are investing in health data. There are however significant cross-country differences in data availability and use. Some countries stand out for their innovative practices enabling privacy-protective data use while others are falling behind with insufficient data and restrictions that limit access to and use of data, even by government itself. Countries that develop a data governance framework that enables privacy-protective data use will not only have the information needed to promote quality, efficiency and performance in their health systems, they will become a more attractive centre for medical research. After examining the current situation in OECD countries, a multi-disciplinary advisory panel of experts identified eight key data governance mechanisms to maximise benefits to patients and to societies from the collection, linkage and analysis of health data and to, at the same time, minimise risks to the privacy of patients and to the security of health data. These mechanisms include coordinated development of high-value, privacy-protective health information systems, legislation that permits privacy-protective data use, open and transparent public communication, accreditation or certification of health data processors, transparent and fair project approval processes, data de-identification and data security practices that meet legal requirements and public expectations without compromising data utility and a process to continually assess and renew the data governance framework as new data and new risks emerge.
Improving people’s well-being – not just boosting economic growth - should be a central objective for policy-makers, says the OECD.
OECD countries are facing an unprecedented refugee crisis and the situation requires a comprehensive and co-ordinated international response to address the immediate needs of asylum seekers and the longer-term challenge of helping them integrate. This is the main message of two new OECD documents, the 2015 International Migration Outlook and a Policy Brief on the Refugee Crisis.
2015 is the year in which we aim to develop a new architecture for financing development for the Sustainable Development Goals and to build, during COP 21 in Paris, a new framework to tackle climate change. In all these arenas, decisive action for women’s rights and enhanced gender equality can play a crucial role.
Growth in household disposable income has, on average, outpaced the rise in GDP for the OECD area since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007, according to the OECD.
It is an honour to address you at the launch of the W20. Today is yet another step in our journey to bring gender equality to the core of the G20 agenda. And I would like to congratulate the Turkish Presidency for keeping the momentum and carrying this issue forward by creating the W20.
I am very glad the G20 Turkish Presidency put inclusiveness as one of the three “I's" of the required collective action to foster the G20 inclusive and robust growth. Ringing the alarm bell on rising inequality is becoming, unfortunately, routine for us at the OECD.
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This report presents concise evidence of recent trends in inequality and labour income shares and identifies possible causes as a basis for developing potential policy responses. It pays particular attention to both the overall trends and common patterns in the G20 as well as to the important differentiation across G20 countries.