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 in the Digital Age?  

How's Life in the Digital Age?26/04/2019 - How's Life in the Digital Age? - Opportunities and Risks of the Digital Transformation for People's Well-being documents how the ongoing digital transformation is affecting people’s lives across the 11 key dimensions that make up the How’s Life? Well-being Framework (Income and wealth, Jobs and earnings, Housing, Health status, Education and skills, Work-life balance, Civic engagement and governance, Social connections, Environmental quality, Personal security, and Subjective well-being). A summary of existing studies highlights 39 key impacts of the digital transformation on people’s well-being. The review shows that these impacts can be positive as digital technologies expand the boundaries of information availability and enhance human productivity, but can also imply risks for people’s well-being, ranging from cyber-bullying to the emergence of disinformation or cyber-hacking. In sum, making digitalisation work for people’s well-being would require building equal digital opportunities, widespread digital literacy and strong digital security.


How's Life? 2017 

How’s Life? 2017The 2017 edition presents the latest evidence from 50 indicators, with a focus on changes in well-being since 2005. During this period there have been signs of progress, but gains in some aspects of life have been offset by losses elsewhere. This year’s report includes an in-depth review of well-being inequalities and how to measure them, and shows that gaps in people’s achievements and opportunities extend right across the different dimensions of well-being. It exposes divisions according to age, gender, education, and wealth, and reveals pockets of inequality in all OECD countries. It also brings to light the many well-being disadvantages that migrants face in adapting to life abroad. Additionally, the report examines governance as seen from the citizen’s perspective, revealing divides between public institutions and the people they serve. Finally, it provides well-being country profiles, pinpointing strengths, challenges and changes in well-being over time in 41 countries. 

Key findings by 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.

Updated on 15 November 2017



How's Life? series

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

Better Life Index

Are all OECD countries equally unequal? Inequalities in well-being

 Are all OECD countries equally unequal?


Create your Regional Well-Being Index

Regional well-being 350

How has quality of life evolved since 1820?

 How Was Life Dataviz 350


The OECD is continuing the dialogue on well-being through various events including the OECD World Forums on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy. On 27-29 November 2018, the OECD and Statistics Korea co-organised the 6th OECD World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy in Incheon, Korea.

On 10 May 2019, the OECD Centre for Opportunity and Equality (COPE) and the International Movement ATD Fourth World are co-organising the international conference "Addressing the hidden dimensions of poverty". 



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