Monday, June 6, 2011

Create your Better Life Index

The Better Life Index allows citizens to compare well-being across the 34 OECD* member countries based on 11 dimensions in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life: housing; income; jobs; community; education; environment; governance; health; life satisfaction; safety; work-life balance.

*OECD is the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. More information is HERE

There is more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics.
This Index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.
See how well your country compares to the others on the dimensions you value. Create your personal BLI HERE
According to my BLI, I place higher value on the dimensions of Life Satisfaction, Health, Community, Education, and the Environment. Based on surveys and policy analysis, the countries most likely to offer a Best Life opportunity for me are Canada,  Australia, or maybe Sweden. Not surprising. That I should avoid Turkey, Mexico, or Chile was also not terribly surprising. My home country of the USA barely made the top third, behind places I had not even considered, such as Norway, Finland, and Iceland.

The take-away for me is that if I want to find my Best Life at home, I should help improve policies in under-performing areas. 

I do not understand how dimensions are defined or measured. For example, what is really meant by "Life Satisfaction?" How do we know when we have achieved it? Is my scale the same as everyone else's? Probably not. Also, an improvement in one dimension may cost more than an improvement in another dimension. I did not put a high priority on jobs. Is that because I have a job? Would I rate the dimension differently if I were unemployed and had no prospects? In any event, I like this and any attempt to look at well-being from something other than the GDP.

You can see my BLI via OECD HERE

With a hat tip to