The OECD unveiled a new, interactive index that will let people measure and compare their lives in a way that goes beyond traditional GDP numbers. Called Your Better Life Index, the tool is part of a larger OECD Better Life Initiative that aims to measure well-being and progress.
The index allows citizens to compare lives across 34 countries, based on 11 dimensions:
- life satisfaction
- safety and
- work-life balance
-- giving their own weight to each of the dimensions.
“People around the world have wanted to go beyond GDP for some time. This index has extraordinary poten-tial to help us deliver better policies for better lives.” said OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurría .The index is being launched as part of the OECD’s 50th Anniversary Forum and Ministerial celebrations in Paris, known as “OECD Week.”
Housing is one of the 11 topics, as a way to recognized the central role homes play for the life of everybody, but let’s have a closer look of what this index is saying about it.
‘In many OECD countries, home ownership is an important di-mension of individual well-being. It protects owners from fluc-tuations in rents and ensures families a stable and secure shel-ter. Additionally, the value of a property represents a major source of wealth for households. Differences in the rate of home ownership across OECD countries depend significantly on sev-eral factors, including rental subsidies, the existence of high-quality social housing and the deductibility of interest payments on loans from taxable income. According to data collected from 23 OECD countries between 1996 and 2003, nearly 67% of occu-pied dwellings are inhabited by their owners on average. In addition to measuring home ownership rates, it is also impor-tant to examine living conditions, such as the average number of rooms shared per person and whether dwellings have access to basic facilities.
The number of rooms in a dwelling, divided by the number of persons living there, indicates whether residents are living in crowded conditions. Overcrowded housing may have a negative impact on physical and mental health, relations with others and the development of children. In the OECD, the average home contains 1.6 rooms per person. In terms of basic facilities, only 2.8% of dwellings in the OECD lack private access to indoor flushing toilets’
So the more home-owners in a country the happier the citizens are...?