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Compendium of OECD Well-being Indicators


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Set: Health Inequalities
Type: Report
Region: International (other)

In terms of focus, the Compendium provides evidence on: ·         the well-being of people in each country, rather than on the macro-economic conditions of economies; hence, many standard indicators of macro-economic performance (e.g. GDP, productivity, innovation) are not included in this Compendium. ·         the well-being of different groups of the population, in addition to average conditions. Measures of inequalities in people‟s conditions will figure prominently in the “How‟s Life?” report but are only discussed briefly in this Compendium. ·         well-being achievements, measured by outcome indicators, as opposed to well-being drivers measured by input or output indicators. ·         objective and subjective aspects of people‟s well-being as both living conditions and their appreciation by individuals are important to understand people‟s well-being. In terms of scope, the framework distinguishes between current material living conditions and quality of life, on the one hand, and the conditions required to ensure their sustainability over time, on the other - Material living conditions (or „economic well-being‟) determine people‟s consumption possibilities and their command over resources. While this is shaped by GDP, the latter also includes activities that do not contribute to people‟s well-being (e.g. activities aimed at offsetting some of the regrettable consequences of economic development) while it excludes non-market activities that expand people‟s consumption possibilities. - Quality of life, defined as the set of non-monetary attributes of individuals, shapes their opportunities and life chances, and has intrinsic value under different cultures and contexts.- The sustainability of the socio-economic and natural systems where people live and work is critical for well-being to last over time. Sustainability depends on how current human activities impact on the stocks of different types of capital (natural, economic, human and social). However, suitable indicators for describing the evolution of these stocks are still lacking in many fields. For this reason, indicators of sustainability are not included in this Compendium, although some of them will feature in “How‟s Life?”.



Rights: © Public
Suggested citation:

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2011) Compendium of OECD Well-being Indicators [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 23rd January 2018].


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