How s Life in Australia?

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1 How s Life in Australia?

2 The OECD Better Life Initiative, launched in 2011, focuses on the aspects of life that matter to people and that shape their quality of life. The Initiative comprises a set of regularly updated well-being indicators and an analysis, published in the How s Life? report as well as an interactive web application, the Better Life Index. It also includes a number of methodological and research projects to improve the information base towards a better understanding of well-being trends and their drivers. The OECD Better Life Initiative: Helps to inform policy making to improve quality of life. Connects policies to people s lives. Generates support for needed policy measures. Improves civic engagement by encouraging the public to create their own index and share their preferences. Empowers the public by improving their understanding of policy-making. This brochure presents selected findings for Australia from the How s Life? report (pages 3-5) and shows what Australians users of the Better Life Index are telling us about their well-being priorities (pages 6-7). 2

3 HOW S LIFE? How s Life?, published every two years, provides a comprehensive picture of well-being in OECD countries and other major economies by bringing together an internationally comparable set of well-being indicators. It looks at people s material conditions and quality of life across the population in eleven dimensions including: income and wealth; jobs and earnings; housing; health status; worklife balance; education and skills; social connections; civic engagement and governance; environmental quality; personal security; and subjective well-being. The following are findings for Australia based on the set of well-being indicators and the analysis found in the How s Life? report. HOW S LIFE IN AUSTRALIA IN 2014? Compared with other OECD countries, Brazil and the Russian Federation, Australia performs very well in many of the 11 dimensions mentioned above that the OECD considers as essential to a good life. Australia ranks at the top in civic engagement and above the average of the 36 countries in environmental quality, health status, housing, personal security, jobs and earnings, education and skills, subjective wellbeing, social connections, and income and wealth, but below average in work-life balance. Figure 1 - How does Australia compare? Australia s well-being compared with other OECD countries and major economies, % top performers 60% middle performers 20% bottom performers Australia Countries ranking (1 to 36) Work-life balance Income and wealth Social connections Subjective wellbeing Education and skills Jobs and earnings Personal security Housing Health status Environmental quality Civic engagement and governance 3

4 WELL-BEING DURING THE CRISIS The average Australian household has generally been spared by the crisis, which in other OECD countries has been particularly visible when looking at household income, jobs, life satisfaction and civic engagement. From 2007 to 2011, Australia recorded a cumulative increase in real household disposable income of around 9%, one of the largest increases in the OECD, while in the Euro area income dropped on average by 1% over the same period, with the largest decline occurring in Market income inequality (before taxes and transfers) remained unchanged while it increased by 1.2% on average in the OECD. In the OECD countries most severely hit by the crisis, the largest impact of the crisis on people s well-being have come through lower employment and deteriorating labour market conditions. The employment rate decreased by only 0.5 percentage point in Australia while the long-term unemployment rate remained stable between 2007 and In the OECD as a whole, the poor employment situation had a major impact on life satisfaction. Amid a favourable labour market situation, the percentage of Australian people declaring being very satisfied with their lives increased from 76% to 77% between 2007 to People s trust in institutions and in the way democracy works has also declined during the crisis. The percentage of Australian people reporting that they trust the government declined from 53% to 46% between 2007 and Over the same period, new forms of solidarity and engagement have emerged in the countries the most impacted by the crisis. In Australia, the percentage of people reporting having helped someone and having volunteered their time remained stable between 2007 and QUALITY OF EMPLOYMENT AND WELL-BEING From a well-being perspective, what matters is to have a job of good quality. Quality of employment encompasses many elements, one being that paid work ensure adequate standards of living. In-work poverty reflects different forms of precarious employment (e.g. low working hours and hourly pay among full-time workers, frequent moves between low-paid work and joblessness, etc), and its incidence informs about quality of employment. In 2010, 4% of Australian people living in households with at least one worker experienced in-work poverty, while 2% of those living in households with all adult members employed were in poverty, both shares being well below the OECD average. Strategies to fight in-work poverty are at the forefront of the policy agenda in many countries, particularly in the context of the economic crisis. Figure 2 In-work poverty in Australia, 2010 Poverty based on a threshold set at 50% of median household disposable income Households where all adult members have a job All households with at least one worker 4

5 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN WELL-BEING Gender gaps in well-being, typically in favour of men, have declined in most OECD countries, including in Australia. Despite these gains, Australian women are still less likely than men to have a paid job or be elected to Parliament, and more likely to spend many hours performing household tasks or to feel insecure when walking alone at night. A significant share of Australian women also report having experienced intimate partner violence. HOW DO MEN AND WOMEN PERFORM IN AUSTRALIA? AND IN THE OECD? Women and men throughout their lifetime Health status Life expectancy at birth (years) Share of people in good/very good health conditions 85% 85% 67% 72% Education and skills Tertiary degrees awarded (all fields) 57% 43% 58% 42% Women and men in paid and unpaid work Jobs and earnings Employment rates (tertiary educated individuals) 79% 90% 79% 88% Wage gap between men and women - +14% - +16% Share of poor single-adult households % 30% Work-Life balance Number of hours dedicated to household tasks (per week) Women and men in society Civic Engagement and governance Share of seats in national parliament 25% - 27% 73% Personal security Share of women reporting intimate partner violence 27% Share of people feeling safe when walking alone at night 51% 78% 61% 79% Subjective well-being Levels of life satisfaction on a 0 to 10 scale

6 BETTER LIFE INDEX The Better Life Index is an interactive web application that invites citizens to compare well-being across OECD countries and beyond on the basis of the set of well-being indicators explored in How s Life? Users chose what weight to give to each of the eleven dimensions shown below and therefore see how countries perform, based on their own personal priorities in life. Users can share their index with other people in their networks, as well as with the OECD. This allows us to gather valuable information on the importance that users attach to various life dimensions, on how these preferences differ across countries, and on the demographic characteristics of users. Since its launch in May 2011, the Better Life Index has attracted over 3.6 million visits from just about every country on the planet (184) and has received over eight million page views. And over 60,000 user-created Better Life Indexes have been shared with the OECD. The following country findings reflect voluntary submissions to the OECD via Findings can only be considered as indicative and are not representative of the population at large. Ranking of well-being topics for all users 11% 10% 9% 8% 9.86% 9.45% 8.77% 8.93% 8.94% 9.08% 9.12% 8.07% 10.32% 10.34% 7% 6.76% 6% 5% 4% Life Satisfaction, Health and Education have consistently been the top rated topics overall. 6

7 PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF WELL-BEING: FINDINGS FOR AUSTRALIA Work-Life Balance, Health and Life Satisfaction are the three highest ranked topics by users based in Australia. 1 The following chart compares indexes submitted by users in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. 12.0% Ranking for well-being topics in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States 11.0% 10.0% 9.0% 8.0% 7.0% United States United Kingdom Australia 6.0% Australia is currently 6th in number of visits (over 155,900) to the BLI site, up 100% or over 78,200 new visits since the update to the Index in May The top cities are Sydney, with over 54,400 visits followed by Melbourne, (+37,800) and Brisbane (+23,700). 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% Gender distribution of users Comparison between Australia and all users 58% 61% 42% 39% Australia All users 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 6% Age distribution for users Comparison between Australia and all users 1% 37% 25% 21% 32% 19% 17% 12% 12% 6% 7% 2% 3% < >65 Women Men Australia Global 1 Preferences for Australia based on 2,382 indexes submitted between May 2011 and March

8 For media requests contact: or For more information contact:

9 How s Life in Austria?

10 The OECD Better Life Initiative, launched in 2011, focuses on the aspects of life that matter to people and that shape their quality of life. The Initiative comprises a set of regularly updated well-being indicators and an analysis, published in the How s Life? report as well as an interactive web application, the Better Life Index. It also includes a number of methodological and research projects to improve the information base towards a better understanding of well-being trends and their drivers. The OECD Better Life Initiative: Helps to inform policy making to improve quality of life. Connects policies to people s lives. Generates support for needed policy measures. Improves civic engagement by encouraging the public to create their own index and share their preferences. Empowers the public by improving their understanding of policy-making. This brochure presents selected findings for Austria from the How s Life? report (pages 3-5) and shows what Austrian users of the Better Life Index are telling us about their well-being priorities (pages 6-7). 2

11 HOW S LIFE? How s Life?, published every two years, provides a comprehensive picture of well-being in OECD countries and other major economies by bringing together an internationally comparable set of well-being indicators. It looks at people s material conditions and quality of life across the population in eleven dimensions including: income and wealth; jobs and earnings; housing; health status; worklife balance; education and skills; social connections; civic engagement and governance; environmental quality; personal security; and subjective well-being. The following are findings for Austria based on the set of well-being indicators and the analysis found in the How s Life? report. HOW S LIFE IN AUSTRIA IN 2014? Compared with other OECD countries, Brazil and the Russian Federation, Austria performs well in many of the 11 dimensions mentioned above that the OECD considers as essential to a good life. Austria ranks above the average of the 36 countries in the dimensions of social connections, jobs and earnings, subjective well-being, income and wealth, personal security, civic engagement, health status, environmental quality, education and skills, and housing, but below average in work-life balance. Figure 1 - How does Austria compare? Austria s well-being compared with other OECD countries and major economies, % top performers 60% middle performers 20% bottom performers Austria Countries ranking (1 to 36) Work-life balance Housing Education and skills Environmental quality Health status Civic engagement and governance Personal security Income and wealth Subjective wellbeing Jobs and earnings Social connections 3

12 WELL-BEING DURING THE CRISIS The average Austrian household has been only marginally affected by the crisis, which in other OECD countries has been particularly visible when looking at household income, jobs, life satisfaction and civic engagement. From 2007 to 2011, Austria recorded a cumulative decline in real household disposable income of around 1%, as on average in the Euro area over the same period, with the largest decline occurring in Market income inequality (before taxes and transfers) remained unchanged between 2007 and 2010 while it increased by 1.2% on average in the OECD. In the OECD countries most severely hit by the crisis, the largest impact of the crisis on people s well-being have come through lower employment and deteriorating labour market conditions. In contrast to the general trend, the employment rate increased by 1 percentage point in Austria while the long-term unemployment rate remained stable between 2007 and In the OECD as a whole, the poor employment situation had a major impact on life satisfaction. Conversely, the percentage of Austrian people declaring being very satisfied with their lives increased from 67% to 77% from 2007 to 2013, while this percentage dropped in the countries most affected by the crisis. In the OECD countries most severely hit by the crisis, people s trust in institutions and in the way democracy works has also declined during the crisis. Conversely, the percentage of Austrian people reporting that they trust the government increased from 26% to 42% between 2008 and Over the same period, new forms of solidarity and engagement have emerged in the countries most impacted by the crisis. In contrast to the general trend, the percentage of people reporting having helped someone and having volunteered their time decreased by 1 and 2 percentage points respectively between 2008 and 2013 in Austria. WELL-BEING IN THE WORKPLACE People spend most of their daily life at work and work for a significant part of their life. Hence, the kind of jobs they have matters a great deal for their well-being. Job quality covers many different aspects, from work content to control over decisions, to interactions with colleagues, support from managers, as well as more traditional aspects such as earnings and job security. In 2010, 21% of Austrian workers reported being in a poor working environment, a share slightly above the average in European countries. Low job quality impairs the physical and mental health of workers. Figure 2 - Working conditions and impact on Austrian workers health, Share of workers reporting poor working conditions, by type Share of workers reporting a negative impact on their health, by type of working conditions Workers in % High exposure to physical health risk factors High work pressure Low level of work autonomy Unclear and imprecise work goals Poor management practices Poor relationships with colleagues Facing workplace intimidation Source: OECD calculations on the European Working Conditions Survey 4

13 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN WELL-BEING Gender gaps in well-being, typically in favour of men, have declined in most OECD countries, including in Austria. Despite these gains, Austrian women are still less likely than men to have a paid job or be elected to Parliament, and more likely to be over-represented among poor households or to feel insecure when walking alone at night. HOW DO MEN AND WOMEN PERFORM IN AUSTRIA? AND IN THE OECD? Women and men throughout their lifetime Health status Life expectancy at birth (years) Share of people in good/very good health conditions 68% 71% 67% 72% Education and skills Tertiary degrees awarded (all fields) 53% 47% 58% 42% Women and men in paid and unpaid work Jobs and earnings Employment rates (tertiary educated individuals) 81% 89% 79% 88% Wage gap between men and women - +19% - +16% Share of poor single-adult households 39% 23% 37% 30% Women and men in society Civic Engagement and governance Share of seats in national parliament 28% 72% 27% 73% Personal security Share of people feeling safe when walking alone at night 75% 90% 61% 79% Subjective well-being Levels of life satisfaction on a 0 to 10 scale

14 BETTER LIFE INDEX The Better Life Index is an interactive web application that invites citizens to compare well-being across OECD countries and beyond on the basis of the set of well-being indicators explored in How s Life? Users chose what weight to give to each of the eleven dimensions shown below and therefore see how countries perform, based on their own personal priorities in life. Users can share their index with other people in their networks, as well as with the OECD. This allows us to gather valuable information on the importance that users attach to various life dimensions, on how these preferences differ across countries, and on the demographic characteristics of users. Since its launch in May 2011, the Better Life Index has attracted over 3.6 million visits from just about every country on the planet (184) and has received over eight million page views. And over 60,000 user-created Better Life Indexes have been shared with the OECD. The following country findings reflect voluntary submissions to the OECD via Findings can only be considered as indicative and are not representative of the population at large. Ranking of well-being topics for all users 11% 10% 9% 8% 9.86% 9.45% 8.77% 8.93% 8.94% 9.08% 9.12% 8.07% 10.32% 10.34% 7% 6.76% 6% 5% 4% Life Satisfaction, Health and Education have consistently been the top rated topics overall. 6

15 PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF WELL-BEING: USER FINDINGS FOR AUSTRIA Health, Life Satisfaction, Environment are the three highest ranked topics for users based in Austria. 2 The following chart compares indexes submitted by users in Austria, Germany and the United States. 12.0% Ranking for well-being topics in Austria, Germany and the United States 11.0% 10.0% 9.0% 8.0% 7.0% 6.0% United States Germany Austria Austria is currently 17th in number of visits (over 46,900), to the BLI site, up 76% or over 20,257 new visits since the update to the Index in May The top cities are Vienna with over 27,800 visits, followed by Graz (+3,500) and Linz (+3,400). 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Gender distribution of users Comparison between Austria and all users 69% 31% 61% 39% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% Age distribution for users Comparison between Austria and all users 4% 1% 20% 25% 32% 32% 21% 19% 14% 12% 7% 7% 2% 3% 0% Austria All users 0% < >65 Women Men Austria Global 2 Preferences for Austria based on 1,381 indexes submitted between May 2011 and March

16 For media requests contact: or For more information contact:

17 How s Life in Belgium?

18 The OECD Better Life Initiative, launched in 2011, focuses on the aspects of life that matter to people and that shape their quality of life. The Initiative comprises a set of regularly updated well-being indicators and an analysis, published in the How s Life? report as well as an interactive web application, the Better Life Index. It also includes a number of methodological and research projects to improve the information base towards a better understanding of well-being trends and their drivers. The OECD Better Life Initiative: Helps to inform policy making to improve quality of life. Connects policies to people s lives. Generates support for needed policy measures. Improves civic engagement by encouraging the public to create their own index and share their preferences. Empowers the public by improving their understanding of policy-making. This brochure presents selected findings for Belgium from the How s Life? report (pages 3-5) and shows what Belgian users of the Better Life Index are telling us about their well-being priorities (pages 6-7). 2

19 HOW S LIFE? How s Life?, published every two years, provides a comprehensive picture of well-being in OECD countries and other major economies by bringing together an internationally comparable set of well-being indicators. It looks at people s material conditions and quality of life across the population in eleven dimensions including: income and wealth; jobs and earnings; housing; health status; worklife balance; education and skills; social connections; civic engagement and governance; environmental quality; personal security; and subjective well-being. The following are findings for Belgium based on the set of well-being indicators and the analysis found in the How s Life? report. HOW S LIFE IN BELGIUM IN 2014? Compared with other OECD countries, Brazil and the Russian Federation, Belgium performs well in many of the 11 dimensions mentioned above that the OECD considers as essential to a good life. Belgium ranks above the average of the 36 countries in the dimensions of work-life balance, income and wealth, housing, civic engagement, education and skills, subjective well-being, health status, jobs and earnings, and social connections, but below average in environmental quality, and personal security. Figure 1 - How does Belgium compare? Belgium s well-being compared with other OECD countries and major economies, % top performers 60% middle performers 20% bottom performers Belgium Countries ranking (1 to 36) Personal security Environmental quality Social connections Jobs and earnings Health status Subjective wellbeing Education and skills Civic engagement and governance Housing Income and wealth Work-life balance 3

20 WELL-BEING DURING THE CRISIS The average Belgian household has been modestly affected by the crisis, which in the OECD has been particularly visible when looking at household income, life satisfaction and civic engagement. Since the start of the crisis, real household disposable income remained stable in Belgium from 2007 to 2011 while in the Euro area, income dropped by 1% over the same period, with the largest decline occurring in However, market income inequality (before taxes and transfers) increased by 1% between 2007 and 2010, in line with the OECD average of 1.2%. In OECD countries severely hit by the crisis, the largest impact of the crisis on people s well-being have come through lower employment and deteriorating labour market conditions. In contrast to this general trend, the employment rate and the long-term unemployment rate remained stable in Belgium between 2007 and The poor employment situation had a major impact on life satisfaction in countries most affected by the crisis. In Belgium, the percentage of people declaring being very satisfied with their lives fell from 78% to 73% from 2007 to 2013 despite sustained employment conditions. People s trust in institutions and in the way democracy works has also declined during the crisis. The percentage of Belgian people reporting that they trust the government decreased from 60% to 55% between 2007 and Over the same period, however, new forms of solidarity and engagement have emerged in the countries the most impacted by the crisis. However, this trend is less clear cut in Belgium. The percentage of people reporting having helped someone increased by 5 percentage point while the share of people reporting having volunteered their time decreased by 5 percentage points between 2007 and WELL-BEING IN THE WORKPLACE People spend most of their daily life at work and work for a significant part of their life. Hence, the kind of jobs they have matters a great deal for their well-being. Job quality covers many different aspects, from work content to control over decisions, to interactions with colleagues, support from managers, as well as more traditional aspects such as earnings and job security. In 2010, 21% of Belgian workers reported being in a poor working environment, a share slightly above the average in European countries. Low job quality impairs the physical and mental health of workers. Figure 2 - Working conditions and impact on Belgian workers health, Working conditions Share of workers with poor working conditions who report negative impact on health 60 Workers in % High exposure to physical health High work risk factors pressure Low level of work autonomy Unclear and imprecise work goals Poor management practices Poor relationships with colleagues Facing workplace intimidation Source: OECD calculations on the European Working Conditions Survey 4

21 GENDER DIFFERENCES IN WELL-BEING Gender gaps in well-being, typically in favour of men, have declined in most OECD countries including in Belgium. Compared to men, Belgian women are less likely to have a paid job or be elected in Parliament, and more likely to spend many hours performing household tasks or to feel insecure when walking alone at night. HOW DO MEN AND WOMEN PERFORM IN BELGIUM? AND IN THE OECD? Women and men throughout their lifetime Health status Life expectancy at birth (years) Share of people in good/very good health conditions 72% 76% 67% 72% Education and skills Tertiary degrees awarded (all fields) 55% 45% 58% 42% Women and men in paid and unpaid work Jobs and earnings Employment rates (tertiary educated individuals) 82% 87% 79% 88% Wage gap between men and women - 9% - +16% Share of poor single-adult households 44% 31% 37% 30% Work-Life balance Number of hours dedicated to household tasks (per week) Women and men in society Civic Engagement and governance Share of seats in national parliament 38% 62% 27% 73% Personal security Share of people feeling safe when walking alone at night 58% 75% 61% 79% Subjective well-being Levels of life satisfaction on a 0 to 10 scale

22 BETTER LIFE INDEX The Better Life Index is an interactive web application that invites citizens to compare well-being across OECD countries and beyond on the basis of the set of well-being indicators explored in How s Life? Users chose what weight to give to each of the eleven dimensions shown below and therefore see how countries perform, based on their own personal priorities in life. Users can share their index with other people in their networks, as well as with the OECD. This allows us to gather valuable information on the importance that users attach to various life dimensions, on how these preferences differ across countries, and on the demographic characteristics of users. Since its launch in May 2011, the Better Life Index has attracted over 3.6 million visits from just about every country on the planet (184) and has received over eight million page views. And over 60,000 user-created Better Life Indexes have been shared with the OECD. The following country findings reflect voluntary submissions to the OECD via Findings can only be considered as indicative and are not representative of the population at large. Ranking of well-being topics for all users 11% 10% 9% 8% 9.86% 9.45% 8.77% 8.93% 8.94% 9.08% 9.12% 8.07% 10.32% 10.34% 7% 6.76% 6% 5% 4% Life Satisfaction, Health and Education have consistently been the top rated topics overall. 6

23 PUBLIC PERCEPTIONS OF WELL-BEING: FINDINGS FOR BELGIUM Health, Life Satisfaction and Education are the three highest ranked topics by users based in Belgium. 3 The following chart compares indexes submitted by users in Belgium, France and the United States. 12.0% Ranking for well-being topics in Belgium, France and the United States 11.0% 10.0% 9.0% 8.0% 7.0% 6.0% United States France Belgium Belgium is currently 15th in number of visits (over 54,800) to the BLI site, up 88% or over 25,600 new visits since the update to the Index in May The top cites are Brussels with over 17,800 visits followed by Ghent (+3,700) and Antwerp (+3,400), Gender distribution of users Comparison between Belgium and all users Age distribution for users Comparison between Belgium and all users 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0% 63% 61% 37% 39% Belgium All users 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1% 1% 28% 25% 24% 32% 20% 19% 15% 12% 8% 7% 4% 3% < >65 Women Men Belgium Global 3 Preferences for Belgium based on 1,198 indexes submitted between May 2011 and March

24 For media requests contact: or For more information contact:

25 How s Life in Brazil?

26

27 The OECD Better Life Initiative, launched in 2011, focuses on the aspects of life that matter to people and that shape their quality of life. The Initiative comprises a set of regularly updated well-being indicators and an analysis, published in the How s Life? report as well as an interactive web application, the Better Life Index. It also includes a number of methodological and research projects to improve the information base towards a better understanding of well-being trends and their drivers. The OECD Better Life Initiative: Helps to inform policy making to improve quality of life. Connects policies to people s lives. Generates support for needed policy measures. Improves civic engagement by encouraging the public to create their own index and share their preferences. Empowers the public by improving their understanding of policy-making. This brochure presents selected findings for Brazil from the How s Life? report (pages 3-4) and shows what Brazilian users of the Better Life Index are telling us about their well-being priorities (pages 5-6). 2

28 HOW S LIFE? How s Life?, published every two years, provides a comprehensive picture of well-being in OECD countries and other major economies by bringing together an internationally comparable set of well-being indicators. It looks at people s material conditions and quality of life across the population in eleven dimensions including: income and wealth; jobs and earnings; housing; health status; worklife balance; education and skills; social connections; civic engagement and governance; environmental quality; personal security; and subjective well-being. The following are findings for Brazil based on the set of well-being indicators and the analysis found in the How s Life? report. HOW S LIFE IN BRAZIL IN 2014? Compared with other OECD countries and the Russian Federation, Brazil performs well in only a few of the 11 dimensions mentioned above that the OECD considers as essential to a good life. Brazil ranks above the average of the 36 countries in the dimensions of subjective well-being, work-life balance, and social connections, but below average in the dimensions of civic engagement, housing, jobs and earnings (estimated), environmental quality, health status, personal security, education and skills, and income and wealth (estimated). Figure 1 - How does Brazil compare? Brazil s well-being compared with other OECD countries and major economies, % top performers 60% middle performers 20% bottom performers Brazil Countries ranking (1 to 36) Income and wealth Education and skills Personal security Health status Environmental quality Jobs and earnings Housing Civic engagement and governance Social connections Work-life balance Subjective wellbeing Note: For details on estimated values, please refer to the BLI FAQ page and the BLI database 3

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