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)
- United States
- 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.
Community engagement 4th
Life satisfaction 11th
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.
- Australia is rated best place to live and work for third year running (guardian.co.uk)
- Australia Tops OECD Better Life Index, Leading Sweden, Canada – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Study finds Canadians have ‘better life’ than most (cp24.com)
- Index ranks Canada among best places to live (globalnews.ca)
- New OECD national comparison suggests Canadians have ‘better life’ than most (globalnews.ca)
- Australia ranked happiest developed nation in OECD Index (australiantimes.co.uk)
- International Mother’s Day, New Zealand plunges in ‘Best Place to be a Mum’ rankings (e2nz.org)
- Canadians best-off in housing, third overall in new OECD quality of life survey (business.financialpost.com)