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Homepage / ECONOMY

Ranking Nations by the Good Life

How the U.S. stacks up depends on your priorities

June 2, 2011

Money is important, but it isn’t everything. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development created the Your Better Life Index to compare the quality of life as well as economic prowess of its 34 member countries. The index measures each country using 11 different lines, including income, employment, health, education, environmental quality, and its citizens’ opinions about life satisfaction, work-life balance, and a sense of community. Because people have different priorities, the OECD index allows them to rank countries according to their own values. The United States remains at the top for income and wealth, but it lags behind as a place to live a long and happy life.




MEASURES IN THE OECD’s INDEX: Community, education, environment, governance, health, housing, income, jobs, life satisfaction, safety, and work-life balance.

NOTE: To compute the rankings, National Journal gave the featured measures in each scenario a weight of 5 (the maximum) and the remaining measures a weight of 0 (the minimum).


Visit the OECD's interactive database to see how the U.S. stacks up based on your own set of values

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