Better Life Initiative: Measuring Well-Being and Progress




Are our lives getting better? How can policies improve our lives? Are we measuring the right things? The OECD Better Life Initiative and the work programme on Measuring Well-Being and Progress answer these questions. They allow understanding what drives well-being of people and nations and what needs to be done to achieve greater progress for all.   



Well-being research

For many years, focusing on people's well-being and societal progress, the OECD has been looking not only at the functioning of the economic system but also at the diverse experiences and living conditions of people and households. Measuring well-being and progress is a key priority that the OECD is pursuing as part of the Better Life Initiative through various streams of research and on-going work. The OECD is pursuing an ambitious agenda with the aim to develop better well-being metrics, and is also providing analysis in order to bridge the gap between existing well-being metrics and policy intervention. 


How's Life? series

How’s Life? 2015

How Was Life Cover 100 
How Was Life? Global Well-Being since 1820 

How's Life in Your Region Cover 100 ENG
How's Life in Your Region?

Measuring and Assessing Well-being in Israel


Playing with the data

Create your Better Life Index

Create your Regional Well-Being Index

Regional well-being 350



How has quality of life evolved since 1820?

 How Was Life Dataviz 350


Key findings from the Better Life Initiative

These country notes present selected findings based on the set of well-being indicators used for the Better Life Initiative and show what users of the Better Life Index in specific countries are telling us about their well-being priorities.

Updated on 31st  May 2016




The OECD is continuing the dialogue on well-being through various events including the OECD World Forums on "Statistics, Knowledge and Policy".

On 13-15 October 2015, the OECD and INEGI – the National Statistical Institute of Mexico – co-organised the 5th OECD World Forum "Transforming Policy, Changing Lives", in Guadalajara, Mexico. Read the summary report in English or in Spanish, or for more information, visit:



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