Australia occupies top rank yet again in OECD’ s better life index!


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The OECD’s Better Life Index ranks the world’s developed economies on quality-of-life criteria.

oecd-logo11. Australia
2. Sweden
3. Canada
4. Norway
5. Switzerland
6. United States
7. Denmark
8. The Netherlands
9. Iceland
10. United Kingdom

For over fifty years, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has helped governments design better policies for better lives for their citizens. It provides a forum in which leaders and policy makers can work together to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems, and produces high -quality internationally comparable statistics used to understand what drives economic, social and environmental change.

Ever since the OECD started out in 1961, GDP has been the main factor by which it has measured and understood economic and social progress. But it has failed to capture many of the factors that influence people’s lives, such as security, leisure, income distribution and a clean environment.

Is life really getting better? How can we tell? What are the key ingredients to improving life – is it better education, environment, healthcare, housing, or working hours? Does progress mean the same thing to all people or in all countries and societies?

A pioneer in this emerging field of research, the OECD has been working for almost ten years to identify the best way to measure the progress of societies –moving beyond GDP and examining the areas that impact everyday people’s lives. Today, the fruit of this work is manifested in the OECD Better Life Initiative


OECD’s Better Life IndexThe OECD Better Life Initiative allows a better understanding of what drives the well -being of people and nations and what needs to be done to achieve greater progress for all. Drawing upon the recommendations of the Commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress (to which the OECD has been an important contributor), the OECD has identified 11 dimensions as being essential to well – being, from health and education to local environment, personal security and overall satisfaction with life, as well as more traditional measures such as income.

Your Better Life Index- is an interactive tool that allows you to see how countries perform according to the importance you give to each of 11 topics –community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, housing, income, jobs, life satisfaction, safety, work -life balance–that contribute to well-being.

Your Better Life

Index currently profiles the 34 OECD member countries as well as key partners Brazil and Russia across the 11 topics of well-being, and will eventually include other key OECD partner countries (, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa), representing the world’s major economies.

The Index contains an overall description of the quality of life in each country, followed by its performance across the 24 individual indicators that make up the 11 topics of well-being.

The Index also lets you see how life compares for men and women, and for those at the top and bottom of the social and economic ladder.


Australia performs exceptionally well in measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.

In Australia, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 28 884 USD a year, more than the OECD average of 23 047 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn six times as much as the bottom 20%.

Over 73% of people aged 15 to 64 in Australia have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 79% of men are in paid work, compared with 67% of women.

girl-hood-happyIn Australia, 73% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, close to the OECD average of 74%. This is truer of men than women, as 76% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 71% of women. This difference is higher than the OECD average and suggests women’s participation in higher education could be strengthened. Australia is nonetheless a top-performing country in terms of the quality of its educational system.

Life expectancy at birth in Australia is almost 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 84 years, compared with 80 for men.

There is a strong sense of community and high levels of civic participation in Australia, where 94% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 90%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 93% during recent elections; this figure is the highest in the OECD where the average is 72%.

In general, Australians are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 84% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is higher than the OECD average of 80%.

More weblinks:

The 15 Countries With The Highest Quality Of Life


OECD Better Life Index: Canada Ranks 3rd, But Income Gap Worries Surface

Australia named world’s happiest industrialized nation Country tops Better Life Index for third year in a row. Read more

Contributed by Meetika Srivastava


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