United States

“Happy, Healthy and Wise” are Top Priorities for American, Canadian Users of OECD Better Life Index


Washington, D.C., May 5 2014 — When it comes to well-being, American users of the OECD Better Life Index (BLI) want to be happy, Canadians care most about health, while Latin Americans strive for better education. That’s according to user feedback as the Index marks its third birthday.

More than 3.6 million people in 184 countries have used this well-being barometer to measure and compare their quality of life based on their own priorities. Typically people have used it to compare countries according to the weighting they give to 11 categories ranging from income to the environment.
“People want to be heard. They want to understand how their country compares to others and to know that we are listening,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “This year’s Better Life Index has evolved to reveal what’s most important to users. This represents an important potential new source of information for policy makers.”
A new feature for 2014 reveals to users for the first time what more than 60,000 people around the world believe to be the most important factors for quality of life. This living database, viewable via an interactive map, allows policymakers everywhere to see what matters to users of the Better Life Index.
The map of what matters to people shows that BLI users in the United States and Canada rank life satisfaction, education and health as their top priorities. Users in both countries also ranked work-life balance as a fairly important dimension — one in which both nations perform below the OECD average. Americans and Canadian users ranked income, community and civic engagement as the least important drivers of well-being. For more information about what matters to BLI users in your country compared to other countries, see here :  





The Better Life Index is available in five languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Russian. A Brazilian Portuguese version will be launched in June 2014. The Index, which has received a total of 8 million page views, is enabled for portable devices and can be embedded onto websites and blogs. The 2014 version of the Better Life Index also includes updated data in all 11 topics.

The OECD Better Life Index is part of a larger OECD Better Life Initiative that aims to measure well-being and progress. The Better Life Index invites citizens to compare lives across 36 countries, based on 11 topics -- housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety, work-life balance -- giving their own weight to each of the topics.

For further information North American media should contact Miguel Gorman ( / +1 202 445 8058) at the OECD Washington Center.



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