Happiness is rated most important for those living in and moving to the USA
More than 60,000 people have contributed to the OECD Better Life Index, an online survey designed to illustrate what matters most to people around the world. Residents of Canada are mostly motivated by better health, whereas their American neighbours are more concerned with being happy and life satisfaction.
Launched in 2011, the index is part of a larger OECD Better Life Initiative, which aims to measure well-being and progress across the world. The Better Life Index invites residents to compare lives across 36 countries, based on various topics including housing, income, jobs, community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance.
“People want to be heard. They want to understand how their country compares to others and to know that we are listening,” said Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General. He continued: “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.”
The 3,941 respondents in Canada ranked health as their highest priority, followed by life satisfaction and education. Interestingly, Canadians ranked Civic Engagement as the lowest priority, giving a low importance to a transparent and confidence-backed government. Across all OECD countries, only 39% of respondents said that they trust their national government.
The United States had the largest amount of responses in the survey – 10,070 ranked life satisfaction as the highest priority, followed by health and education. The report by the OECD also highlights that 67% of people aged 15 to 64 in the USA are in paid employment, which is slightly above the OECD report average of 65%. Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job in the United States – 89% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 75%.
More reasons for moving to the USA highlighted by the report, include air and water quality, which are both above the OECD international average, as well as a strong sense of community, where 90% of people believe they have someone they can turn to in times of need.
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Information correct at time of publication