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OECD Better Life Index

May 24, 2012

OECD is engaged since years to go “beyond GDP” to measure global development trends.  A couple of days ago they launched and updated version of the Better Life Index, a well designed infotool that combines and compares statistical data and well being perceptions in the 36 OECD member countries.

Your Better Life Index is designed to let you visualise and compare some of the key factors – like education, housing, environment, and so on – that contribute to well-being in OECD countries. It’s an interactive tool that allows you to see how countries perform according to the importance you give to each of 11 topics that make for a better life.

The fields considered are 11: community, education, environment, civic engagement, health, housing, income, jobs, life satisfaction, safety, work-life balance. Although the Index strives at overcoming the equation between richness = quality of life, wealth and jobs still appear to dominate the ranking with Australia, Norway, USA, Switzerland and Sweden at the top, Mexico and Turkey at the bottom.

An interesting feature of this tool is interactivity that allows you to reshape the ranking according to your own priorities. Certainly it is not easy to choose what is more important between Health and Safety, or between Jobs and Education, but at least it underlines that any kind of ranking is largely based on subjective assumptions.

For the record Italy is at 22th place, suffering for economic stagnation, high unemployment, women discrimination and bad expectations for the future.

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