OECD’s Better Life Index, New Zealand Not So Good, Continues to Fall – updated

better-life-index

The annual OECD Better Life Index has just been published. It lists eleven variables to allow individuals to construct their own index based on what’s important to them.

Construct your own index here http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org.

Take all eleven variables in equal measure and what do you get? A list of 36 countries that can be ranked by their total Better Life scores.

New Zealand doesn’t do very well in comparison to its main competitors, some of whom are the source countries for many of its immigrants. It has also dropped two places in this year’s index compared to last year’s, a big drop from 2011’s index where it came 4th.

Britain and Australia come out higher than NZ for environment, jobs, safety. Australia also tops the table for civic engagement and scores higher for education than New Zealand, which is bound to create some controversy within New Zealand’s international student market sector.

Work life balance important to you? Stay put or move to Ireland. New Zealand ranks 24th, lower than the UK, and Ireland comes in at very respectable 8th place.

In these turbulent days perhaps safety is a priority for you. There are safer countries than New Zealand, according to the OECD. Chose from Japan, Canada, Poland, the UK and Australia.

Eight European countries, Canada and Mexico all score more highly for life satisfaction than bi-cultural New Zealand.

Where are the best places for a better life, according to the OECD? (top countries in bold)

  1. Australia
  2. Sweden
  3. Canada
  4. Norway
  5. Switzerland
  6. United States
  7. Denmark
  8. Netherlands
  9. Iceland
  10. UK
  11. New Zealand

29 May update

The NewZealand Herald got hold of the report the day after this blog post was written and did its best to put a positive spin on it. If you read the report yourself and play around with the calculator you’ll get a feeling for how data is sometimes misrepresented in New Zealand.

The Herald wrote in an article headed Life Good in NZ, Says Global Study

The Better Life Index, released yesterday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), places New Zealand close to the top in each of the 11 categories measured.

You can see for yourself that New Zealand ranked 24th for work life balance and 20th for income, that’s close to the bottom, not the top.

This is how New Zealand ranked for each category. It was in the top quartile for just four of them.

Housing 11th
Income 20th
Jobs 13th
Community 12th
Education 11th
Environment 9th
Community engagement 4th
Health 1st
Life satisfaction 11th
Safety 6th
Work life balance 24th

30 May update

Following the OECD report, anti-Australian sentiment has been stepped up a notch in New Zealand. “Turning back from Oz dream” appears in the top corner of today’s front page of the New Zealand Herald.  Not once did the article mention New Zealand’s overall position in the OECD’s rankings, nor that the country continues its decline in the last two annual rankings, whilst the country it competes with has remained at the top.

Australia has topped the Better Life Index for the last three years, but instead the Herald tells its readers success in Australia isn’t a certainty and there is no access to social security benefits for most New Zealanders, adding.

An OECD study which looked at the quality of life in 36 countries ranked Australia generally better in most categories including housing, income, community, education and civic engagement. New Zealand scored better than Australia in work-life balance, safety (sic) and life satisfaction, and equalled (sic) Australia in environment  and health…”

What’s the truth of that? Here’s the scores for both countries, make up your own mind. Click to enlarge.

comparison_edited

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “OECD’s Better Life Index, New Zealand Not So Good, Continues to Fall – updated

  1. THE SCHEME TO PLUNDER NZ’S RESOURCES, PUBLIC LANDS, CONTINUES AT AN ACCELERATING PACE, AND THE LABOUR PARTY, ESPECIALLY THE THIEVES AND CROOKS AT THE TOPS ARE DEEPLY INVOLVED IN THIS LEGISLATIVE CRIMINALITY,
    CURRENTLY BEING ORCHESTRATED BY NATIONAL

    THIEVES ARE THIEVES, AND TO TRIVIALIZE THEFT AS A “ROW”, LETS LABOUR’S MPS OFF THE HOOK AS ACCOMPLICES
    NO ONE CAN BE THAT STUPID

    Row over $40m to plough into SI farms
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/8773960/Row-over-40m-to-plough-into-SI-farms

    is labour’s leader of the opposition david shearer an accomplice to nationals parliamentary thieves in selling off crown land on the cheap, so that farmers can make a 1,000 times profit on the sale ?

    presumably nationals parliamentary thieves have agreed on huge kick backs for this legislative criminality

    it’s as i said above nz, “i see mmp simply as a covert scheme by foreign financiers to gut nz, not to give new zealanders greater democracy”

    we all know national mps are thieves, one and all, but what is the leader of the opposition david shearer going to do about it ?

    i expect that coward and crook to DO nothing !

    just flop round impotently, with a helpless look on his face, maybe a few slimy comments to the effect that he’s helpless ?

    what he DOES will tell you if he’s a thief too, an accomplice ?

    he could show outrage, and make a promise that if labour is elected government at the next election, he and it, will negate all such crooked deals

    the land will be returned to the crown, seized

    it will be seized from any and all owners who bought it for the price at which the crown sold it

    that should kill ALL sales in the interim

    legislation will be passed by a labour government on becoming the government, reversing all laws enabling such crooked, corrupt transactions

    and what’s this other crooked and politically incompetent labour’s spokesman david parker doing by making such a statement as simply labeling it as “crony capitalism”

    what a crook !

    is that all the scumbag can come up with ?

    try the above suggestions if you ever expect labour to win another election ever

    and why wasn’t the leader of the opposition david shearer saying that the sales would be unwound as above ?
    and all profits clawed back ?

    are these two labour leaders totally stupid politically or are they also crooks waiting for their turn ?

    talk is cheap
    which is all david parker offered
    you don’t need to be very astute to realize he’s a crook also unless they change direction within the next few days

    what’s needed by labour short of tossing out shearer and parker in leadership roles, is ACTION, or a hard promise of what labour will do when elected at the next election

    then they, as government, will ram through legislative changes seizing the land, so that not one of the crooks benefit from this corruption and criminality, which dishonors the integrity of parliament and turns nz over to thieves plundering nz

    as forecast in my prior post

    blame MMP

    SUCH CRIMINALITY WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED UNDER THE PRIOR ELECTORAL SYSTEM, FIRST PAST THE POST

    AT THE MOMENT THE THIEVES ARE IN CHARGE

    IF THE NEXT ELECTION IS RIGGED, OR FIXED, AS IS HIGHLY LIKELY NOW, ONE SHOULD EXPECT A CIVIL WAR

    PS three or four decades ago the unemployment rate was officially around 1 %

    labour, and national have been deeply involved in the destruction of the welfare state

    now that is gone

    NOW, IT’S A WELFARE STATE FOR THE THIEVES

    Like

  2. if some of us could leave NZ behind right this second, teleport style, to sink in its own swill, we would. Most of us have family ties there, making leaving difficult, or can’t sell crap house, or can’t reverse transfer pension, or have developed health problems, or trying to jump to another job requiring some faraway employer to take a punt on you after falling professionally behind in NZ, or are merely saving to leave. Leaving is much harder than coming, because you no longer have money. It was sucked off us by desperate hungry wankers like you whose public relations bullsh*t about their country caused people to want to come in the first place.

    Like

  3. MMP, GREATER DEMOCRACY, OR A COVERT SCHEME TO
    PRIVATIZATE/PLUNDER NZ

    i see mmp simply as a covert scheme by foreign financiers to gut nz, not to give new zealanders greater democracy

    health care
    increasing privatization
    from a once public benefit, to a means of exploiting nzers
    nz’s health care 1st, crap !
    nz was 42nd out of 191 per who in 2000
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHO%27s_ranking_of_health_care_systems
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health_care_in_New_Zealand

    unemployment
    massive unemployment; not the official ie lying undercounting at 7.3 %; but double it to 15 % ie one in six or seven of the nz work force at least is out of work
    what will the labour opposition do ?
    don’t hold your breath
    nothing ?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_unemployment_rate

    increasing income inequality
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_income_equality

    leave nz
    leave nz for 3 years its crooked political parties, national and labour, have gutted your right to vote
    and
    go say to the us before 50, national and labour, have both gutted ALL your superannuation entitlement, every penny

    education
    very exploitatable
    a two tier educational system
    for the kids of the ruling class, and the rest
    especially, in tertiary education
    education, once a system promoting socio-economic equality, is now a class based system, based on ability to pay, the old uk class system based on hereditary privilege has come to nz

    shouldn’t nz simply abolish parliament and have the governor general rule the country if
    if they’re eager to install the extreme reactionary english class system

    Like

  4. great analysis! the print on the chart (Aus vs NZ, indicators) is light in colour and very hard to read. Any possibility of scanning and brightening the image and re-web-publishing it?

    Like

  5. Fuel poverty is a stark fact of life, and death, for a quarter of New Zealand households

    Philippa Howden-Chapmana, Helen Viggersa, Ralph Chapmanb, Kimberley O’Sullivana, Lucy Telfar Barnarda, Bob Lloyd. Tackling cold housing and fuel poverty in New Zealand: A review of policies, research, and health impacts. Energy Policy (49)134-142 October 2012,

    Abstract

    “About a quarter of New Zealand households are estimated to be in fuel poverty. NZ has a poor history of housing regulation, so existing houses are often poorly insulated and rental properties are not required to have insulation or heating. Average indoor temperatures are cold by international standards and occupants regularly report they are cold, because they cannot afford to heat their houses. Fuel poverty is thought to be a factor in NZ’s high rate of excess winter mortality (16%, about 1600 deaths a year) and excess winter hospitalisations (8%).

    We examined the link between indoor cold and health in two community trials, the Housing, Insulation, and Health Study and the Housing, Heating, and Health Study and both interventions demonstrated encouraging benefit/cost ratios. NZ governments have translated this and other research into major policy programmes designed to retrofit insulation and efficient heating into existing houses. However, houses are predominantly electrical resistance heated and a largely unregulated electricity market has seen rapidly rising residential electricity prices. These rising energy prices, combined with low rates of economic growth, rising unemployment and generally rising income inequality, are likely to further increase levels of fuel poverty in NZ, unless broader policy action is taken.”

    Also read: posts tagged Fuel Poverty

    Like

  6. I am surprised that housing rates 11th as it should be much lower. Some houses here have no central heating, double glazing or insulation and electricity to heat your home is so expensive that old people stay in bed with a hot water bottle as its too expensive for them to turn on the heater. Climate change has meant Nz is getting some freezing winters now with freezing temperature. As a kid growing up in Christchurch Nz it only snowed in the city twice in my entire childhood – now it is snowing in the city every winter. 5 people in my office went to bed last night in Auckland wearing beanies(wooley hats) as it was so cold in their bedrooms. I always feel cold in Nz due to the freezing winds and cold housing – I never remember feeling this cold in the UK.

    Like

    • The North Island has hit -5 Celcius in the past,
      South Island has hit -12 Celcius in the past.
      And it’s no joke: one person running the electric heater for themselves alone … he made up half the electricity cost for our rented house (full rental was ~400/week, monthly electric bill for that July was ~NZD200!).
      Yep, I remember snuggling up with the hot water bottle. On the other hand, coming from a warm country you fall asleep SO FAST it’s not funny.
      Good thing I was working at University then, such a sleep cycle would have played havoc with my academic performance.

      Like

  7. ‘Australia Tops OECD Better Life Index, Leading Sweden, Canada’

    Australia is the world’s happiest nation based on criteria including income, jobs, housing and health, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said.
    Australia led Sweden and Canada, the Paris-based group’s Better Life Index showed, when each of 11 categories surveyed in 36 nations is given equal weight.
    More than 73 percent of people aged 15 to 64 in Australia have a paid job, above the OECD average of 66 percent, while life expectancy at birth in Australia is almost 82 years, two years higher than the OECD average, the survey showed.
    Australia, the only major developed nation to avoid the 2009 worldwide recession, remains at the top of the OECD index even as a mining boom powering economic growth crests and the government forecasts unemployment will rise to 5.75 percent by June 2014, from 5.5 percent last month.
    “Australia performs exceptionally well in measures of well-being, as shown by the fact that it ranks among the top countries in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index,” the OECD said.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-27/australia-tops-oecd-better-life-index-leading-sweden-canada.html

    I bet you won’t see that headline reported in New Zealand.

    Like

  8. I wouldn’t move to Australia, too many kiwis there.

    As a kiwi living in USA; I have not seen a single kiwi since moving here and am thankful.

    Like

By making a comment you agree to abide with the comment guidelines. Newer comments are at the top.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s