What matters most when it comes to people’s well-being? The OECD’s Better Life Initiative aims to answer that question by painting a broad picture of people’s lives using 11 key dimensions essential to well-being. These range from traditional measures such as income and jobs, health, education and the local environment, to personal safety and overall satisfaction with life.
But well-being varies among individuals and thus cannot be captured only by measures at national level. So the OECD has also focused on measuring inequality between groups in society for the different well-being outcomes. This shows how well-being, whether in terms of income, education, health or general satisfaction with life is shared across society, for instance what difference gender makes.
The wide range of comparable well-being indicators in How’s Life? makes it possible to identify relative strengths and weaknesses in countries’ well-being. This, in turn, can help governments when drawing up their policy agenda. But there is no clear well-being champion across all the well-being dimensions, and policy priorities in well-being may differ among OECD countries.