How is life in Estonia? Not a flower actually...

10/23/2015 2:36 PM
Category: Society

Life satisfaction among Estonians is low, according to a new study which lists low levels of disposable income as one of the factors in the outcome.

The report How’s Life in Estonia?, which was released this month, was been put together by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) whose aim is to create policy and improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

There are 34 member countries of the organization, including the UK, the US, Australia, Switzerland, Iceland, Germany, France, Finland and Austria. Estonia is the only Baltic nation signed up.

The results show that life satisfaction is rated by Estonians as 5.56 out of 10. The only two nations below that were Greece at 4.76 and Hungary at 5.18. The figures were taken from the Gallup World Poll 2014.

Better Life Index results by rank (Source: oecd.org).

The report showed that Estonia has one of the lowest levels of average household disposable income per capita in the OECD as well as a low level of household net financial wealth. But the employment rate is above the OECD average, and job security has improved between 2009 and 2014.

Estonia’s performance in child well-being is very mixed. While the Estonian rate of low birth weights is among the lowest in the OECD, the adolescent suicide rate and the teenage birth rate lie above the OECD average. Children’s reading and creative problem solving skills are also above average.

Statistics from 2009 to 2014 were supplied by a number of sources including OECD, the World Health Organisation and PISA.

The report also included the results of the Better Life Index, an interactive web application that encourages people to compare well-being across all OECD countries. Each participant has to rate what is most and least important out of 11 categories.

Estonians rated life satisfaction, education and health as their top three choices, with civic engagement, community and work-life balance scoring the lowest. Other categories included: job, income, safety, environment and housing.

The Better Life Index, which is an interactive web application, was launched in 2011 and has so far been used by 23,000 people in Estonia, mostly in Tallinn, Tartu, Pärnu and Jõhvi.

H. Wright

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