Housing, employment, social ties …: create your own index of a better life

THE ECO / GAME SCAN – Housing, income, education, health, environment, work-life balance, social ties, security, employment… Note 11 criteria according to the importance you give them and compare your recipe for good- to be in relation to reality, and to others.

Life isn’t just about GDP. For more than 10 years, the has been working on measures that go beyond “cold” economic growth by including welfare and social progress in its calculations. Housing, income, employment, social ties, education, environment, civic engagement, health, safety, personal satisfaction, work-life balance … The OECD annually examines these eleven dimensions that “shape the well-being and lives of people ”in the 34 countries of the Organization, plus two partners, Brazil and Russia.

Thus the OECD publishes this Tuesday its annual report, called “How’s life?”, Which makes, for each country, an inventory and a comparison of their performance in these 11 criteria. And accompanies it, as every year, with the results of its “Better Life Index”, an interactive tool that allows people to shape their own “happiness index”. “We collect, analyze and statistically treat people’s priorities to compare them with the reality on the ground”, explains Romina Boarini of the “Well-being” unit at the OECD statistics directorate.

• Create your own happiness index

With this tool, you can rate the 11 criteria from 0 to 5 depending on the importance you give them, personally. You can then compare your own Better Life Index with another country (the average of responses from other people in that country), see the reality on the ground with the ranking of countries with the highest overall well-being, and explore the differences between men and women.

• How do the French want France?

France now ranks second in terms of the number of visits to the Better Life Index website (over 397,000). The three most active cities are Paris, with 37% of visits, followed by Lyon, Toulouse, Nantes and Rennes.

Public opinion on well-being: results for France.

No country gives so much importance to “health”. “Income” comes out at the back of the pack (behind, as in all countries, civic engagement), “which is the case for all relatively rich countries”, notes Romina Boarini, who adds that “security is a criterion which goes up everywhere on average, in particular since the attacks of January ”.

Finally, “accommodation” comes in 4th place among the most important criteria for the French, while on average over the 36 countries, it is in 7th place:

Public opinion on well-being: results for all 36 countries studied.

• How is France really doing?

As usual, France is… average. Where France is positioned above the average:

-The work-life balance: this is the time said to be not worked for recreation, socialization, sleep, etc. A French person has 15 hours and 20 minutes per day compared to 15 hours on average.

-The quality of the environment: the air quality, measured by the WHO (World Health Organization), in terms of the concentration of fine particles, is rather good in France. With 11.2 micrograms per cubic meter, France is 4th out of 36. In addition, the French say they are 82% satisfied with the quality of the water (source:), ie 2 points above the average.

-Income and assets: disposable household income in France is $ 28,200 per year per capita, compared to $ 25,800 on average. As for the net financial wealth dimension (excluding real estate, excluding loans, etc.) France is now only 14th out of 36.

The graph shows how France is ranked (white circle) in the 11 dimensions of well-being, in 36

Where France is positioned below the average:

-Education and skills: besides the famous classification PISA, which assesses 15-year-old students around the world every three years, and and undergoes an overall trend of deterioration in results, the OECD takes into account secondary school graduates (72.5% in France against 75.5% on average), and the study expectancy of 5-year-old children in 2015, which was 16.4 years in France compared to 17.7 years on average.

-Social connections: “Can you count on someone in time of need?” To this question, the French answer yes at 87%, against 88% on average, and against 96% for example in Switzerland, Ireland or Iceland and 95% in Denmark or Spain.