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Iceland Mag

Economy

Iceland has the second highest quality of life among OECD countries

By Staff

  • Contributing to the quality of life Many things contribute to the quality of life and people's satisfaction. Some are easily measured, like GDP and employment figures, others are more elusive, like natural beauty and serene landscapes. Photo/Vilhelm Gunnarsson.

According to the newly released OECD Better Life Index, the quality of life in Iceland is among the highest among in the OECD countries. According to the index Iceland has the second highest life satisfaction in the OECD, reflecting the overall quality of life. Only Danes are more satisfied with their lives, according to the report.

There is more to life than GDP
The index is the first attempt by the OECD to create an internationally comparable measure of well-being which goes beyond standard macroeconomic indicators like GDP. The index measures numerous factors from objective economic indicators to more subjective measures, like people’s life satisfaction and level of happiness.

In general, Iceland scores high on the different indicators. The report points out that employment levels in Iceland are very high, whtih 82.2% of the population aged 15-64 in employment. This is the highest share within the OECD. Iceland also has highest water quality and among the hghest air qualities in the OECD. The report finds that 97.5% of people in Iceland are satisfied with their water quality.

High levels of social capital, high levels of happiness
Icelanders also enjoy one of the highest levels of social networks and support than other OECD Regarding social network support. In Iceland 95.7% of people report having friends or relatives that they can count on in times of trouble. The OECD average is 88%.

Reflecting all of these factors, and other more subjetive factors which cannot be easily captured by measurements, Iceland has the second highest life satisfaction in the OECD. When asked to rate their satisfaction with life on a 0 to 10 scale Icelanders gave it a 7.5 grade, compared to the average life satisfaction of 6.6 in the OECD.

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