Public governance

“Healthy, happy and wise”, users' top priorities as OECD releases its 2014 Better Life Index


05/05/2014 - Japanese users of the Better Life Index (BLI) worry most about safety, Australians seek work-life balance, Latin Americans strive for better education, and Danes want to be happy – user feedback shows as the Index marks its third birthday.

More than 3.6 million people in 184 countries have used the wellbeing barometer to measure and compare their quality of life based on their own priorities. Typically people have used it to compare countries according to the weighting they give to 11 categories ranging from income to the environment.

A new feature for 2014 reveals to users for the first time what more than 60,000 people around the world believe to be the most important factors for quality of life. This living database, viewable via an interactive map, allows policymakers everywhere to see what matters to users of the Better Life Index.

“People want to be heard. They want to understand how their country compares to others and to know that we are listening,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “This year’s Better Life Index has evolved to reveal what’s most important to users. This represents an important potential new source of information for policymakers.”

The map of what matters to people shows that users in the United Kingdom and Germany rate life satisfaction as their top priority, while those in France see health as more important. Users in all three countries rate income as a much less important driver of wellbeing. More information about what matters to BLI users in your country compared to other countries is available here.



The Better Life Index is available in five languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Russian. A Brazilian Portuguese version will be launched in June 2014. The Index, which has received a total of 8 million page views, is enabled for portable devices and can be embedded onto websites and blogs.

The 2014 version of the Better Life Index also includes updated data in all 11 topics.

The OECD Better Life Index is part of a larger OECD Better Life Initiative that aims to measure well-being and progress. The Better Life Index invites citizens to compare lives across 36 countries, based on 11 topics -- housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety, work-life balance -- giving their own weight to each of the topics.

•    Create your Better Life Index

•    Better Life Index video tutorial

•    More detailed work on measuring well-being

•    Follow the OECD Forum session on “Netizen Engagement and Empowerment” 

For further information, contact the OECD’s Media Division at: or +33145249700