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 more than 10 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. Read more


Call for papers

Directed at young researchers and PhD-level students, we are looking for fresh ideas that challenge our thinking on how government policies in the areas of competition, corporate governance, capital markets and financial services, international investment and foreign bribery can have an impact on our well-being as defined by the OECD's Better Life Initiative. Read more


How's Life? and other key publications




How's Life? 2013

Released on 5 November 2013, the second edition of How’s Life? provides an update on the most important aspects that shape people’s lives and well-being in OECD countries and other major economies, by looking at people’s material living conditions and quality of life across the population. The report also contains in-depth studies of four key cross-cutting issues in well-being that are particularly relevant: how has well-being evolved during the global economic and financial crisis?; how large are gender differences in well-being?; how can we assess well-being in the workplace?; and how to define and measure the sustainability of well-being over time?

See also: How's Life? Measuring Well-Being, 2011 Edition

05/2013, OECD Guidelines for Micro Statistics on Household Wealth Cover


Guidelines for Micro Statistics on Household Wealth

Released on 12 June 2013, this publication presents an internationally agreed set of guidelines for producing micro statistics on household wealth. 


Guidelines on Measuring Subjective Well-being

Released on 20 March 2013, these Guidelines represent the first attempt to provide international recommendations on collecting, publishing, and analysing subjective well-being data.


05/2013, Framework for Statistics on the Distribution of Household Income, Consumption, and Wealth

Framework for Statistics on the Distribution of Household Income, Consumption, and Wealth

Released on 12 June 2013, this publication presents an internationally agreed framework to support the joint analysis of micro-level statistics on household income, consumption and wealth.

Better Life Index

Better Life Index

Based on the OECD's well-being research, the Better Life Index allows you to visualise well-being in OECD countries and beyond; it is an interactive tool through which you can look at how countries perform according to the importance you give to the various components of well-being. You are also able to compare well-being inequalities between men and women.

Visitors to the Better Life Index are now able to see how users of the Index around the world prioritise the different components of well-being through an interactive map. The Better Life Index is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, German and Portuguese, and is embeddable for websites and blogs.

How's Life in your country?

These country notes present selected findings from the How’s Life? report, and show what users of the Better Life Index in specific countries are telling us about their well-being priorities.


Australia‌  Australia Austria‌  Austria Belgium‌  Belgium Brazil‌  Brazil   (POR) Canada‌  Canada Chile‌  Chile   (SPA)
Czech-Republic‌  Czech Republic  Denmark‌  Denmark Estonia‌  Estonia Finland‌  Finland France‌  France   (FRE) Germany‌  Germany   (DEU)
Greece‌  Greece Hungary‌  Hungary Iceland‌  Iceland Ireland‌  Ireland Israel‌  Israel Italy‌  Italy  
Japan‌  Japan   (JPN) South-Korea‌  Korea Luxembourg‌  Luxembourg Mexico‌  Mexico   (SPA) Netherlands‌  Netherlands New-Zealand‌  New Zealand  
Norway‌  Norway Poland‌  Poland Portugal‌  Portugal RussiaRussia   (RUS) Slovakia‌  Slovak Republic Slovenia‌  Slovenia  
Spain‌  Spain   (SPA) Sweden‌  Sweden Switzerland‌  Switzerland Turkey‌  Turkey United-Kingdom‌  United Kingdom United-States‌  United States  


Regional well-being

Regional well-being 350

Regional well-being index

Based on the OECD's well-being research, this interactive web tool allows you to measure well-being in your region and compare it with over 360 other OECD regions based on eight topics central to the quality of our lives, including: income, jobs, health, access to services, environment, education, safety, and civic engagement.

Learn more on the OECD's regional well-being work.


The OECD is continuing the dialogue with developing and emerging countries through the OECD World Forums on "Statistics, Knowledge and Policy". These events aim to deepen on-going reflection on how to measure well-being and the progress of societies and establish frameworks for future work. Read more

Read the Highlights and Conclusions from the 4th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy: Measuring Well-Being for Development and Policy Making that took place in New Delhi, India in October 2012. The 5th OECD World Forum, jointly organised by the National Statistics Office of Mexico (INEGI) and the OECD, will take place in Guadalajara, Mexico on 13-15 October 2015.

Related initiatives



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Countries list

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belarus
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • Chile
  • China (People’s Republic of)
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Cuba
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Côte d'Ivoire
  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • El Salvador
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • European Union
  • Faeroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Korea
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macao (China)
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritius
  • Mayotte
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia (Federated States of)
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • Netherlands Antilles
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palau
  • Palestinian Administered Areas
  • Panama
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Serbia and Montenegro (pre-June 2006)
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Sudan
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Swaziland
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Timor-Leste
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uruguay
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela
  • Vietnam
  • Virgin Islands (UK)
  • Wallis and Futuna Islands
  • Western Sahara
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe