Standard of living

Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods, and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area, usually a country. The standard of living includes factors such as income, quality and availability of employment, class disparity, poverty rate, quality and affordability of housing, hours of work required to purchase necessities, gross domestic product, inflation rate, amount of leisure time every year, affordable (or free) access to quality healthcare, quality and availability of education, life expectancy, incidence of disease, cost of goods and services, infrastructure, national economic growth, economic and political stability,freedom, environmental quality, climate and safety. The standard of living is closely related to quality of life.[1]


Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real (i.e. inflation adjusted) income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality, and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods (such as number of refrigerators per 1000 people), or measures of health such as life expectancy. It is the ease by which people living in a time or place are able to satisfy their needs and/or wants.

The main idea of a 'standard' may be contrasted with the quality of life, which takes into account not only the material standard of living, but also other more intangible aspects that make up human life, such as leisure, safety, cultural resources, social life, physical health, environmental quality issues, etc. More complex means of measuring well-being must be employed to make such judgements, and these are very often political, thus controversial. Even between two nations or societies that have similar material standards of living, quality of life factors may in fact make one of these places more attractive to a given individual or group.

See also


  1. ^ "Standard of Living Definition". Retrieved 5 November 2011.

External links

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa (Amharic: አዲስ አበባ, Addis Abäba IPA: [adˈdis ˈabəba] (listen), "new flower"; or Addis Abeba (the spelling used by the official Ethiopian Mapping Authority); Oromo: Finfinne "natural spring") is the capital and largest city of Ethiopia. According to the 2007 census, the city has a population of 2,739,551 inhabitants.As a chartered city (ras gez astedader), Addis Ababa has the status of both a city and a state. It is where the African Union is headquartered and where its predecessor the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was based. It also hosts the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), as well as various other continental and international organizations. Addis Ababa is therefore often referred to as "the political capital of Africa" for its historical, diplomatic and political significance for the continent. The city lies a few miles west of the East African Rift which splits Ethiopia into two.The city is populated by people from different regions of Ethiopia. It is home to Addis Ababa University.

Cost of living

Cost of living is the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living. Changes in the cost of living over time are often operationalized in a cost of living index. Cost of living calculations are also used to compare the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living in different geographic areas. Differences in cost of living between locations can also be measured in terms of purchasing power parity rates.

Domestic energy consumption

Domestic energy consumption is the total amount of energy used in a house for household work. The amount of energy used per household varies widely depending on the standard of living of the country, the climate, and the age and type of residence.

In the United States as of 2008, in an average household in a temperate climate, the yearly use of household energy can be composed as follows:

This equates to an average instantaneous power consumption of 2 kW at any given time.

Households in different parts of the world will have differing levels of consumption, based on latitude and technology.

As of 2015, the average annual household electricity consumption in the US is 10,766 kWh.

Economic, social and cultural rights

Economic, social and cultural rights are socio-economic human rights, such as the right to education, right to housing, right to adequate standard of living, right to health, victims' rights and the right to science and culture. Economic, social and cultural rights are recognised and protected in international and regional human rights instruments. Member states have a legal obligation to respect, protect and fulfil economic, social and cultural rights and are expected to take "progressive action" towards their fulfilment.

The Universal Declaration on Human Rights recognises a number of economic, social and cultural rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is the primary international legal source of economic, social and cultural rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women recognises and protects many of the economic, social and cultural rights recognised in the ICESCR in relation to children and women. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination prohibits discrimination on the basis of racial or ethnic origin in relation to a number of economic, social and cultural rights. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also prohibits all discrimination on the basis of the disability including refusal of the reasonable accommodation relating to full enjoyment of economic, social and cultural rights.

Gross domestic product

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a period of time, often annually.GDP (nominal) per capita does not, however, reflect differences in the cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries; therefore using a basis of GDP per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) is arguably more useful when comparing differences in living standards between nations.

Human Poverty Index

The Human Poverty Index (HPI) was an indication of the standard of living in a country, developed by the United Nations (UN) to complement the Human Development Index (HDI) and was first reported as part of the Human Development Report in 1997. It was considered to better reflect the extent of deprivation in developed countries compared to the HDI. In 2010 it was supplanted by the UN's Multidimensional Poverty Index.

The HPI concentrates on the deprivation in the three essential elements of human life already reflected in the HDI: longevity, knowledge and a decent standard of living. The HPI is derived separately for developing countries (HPI-1) and a group of select high-income OECD countries (HPI-2) to better reflect socio-economic differences and also the widely different measures of deprivation in the two groups

Human development (economics)

Human development is the science that seeks to understand how and why the people of all ages and circumstances change or remain the same over time. It involves studies of the human condition with its core being the capability approach. The inequality adjusted Human Development Index is used as a way of measuring actual progress in human development by the United Nations. It is an alternative approach to a single focus on economic growth, and focused more on social justice, as a way of understanding progress.

The term human development may be defined as an expansion of human capabilities, a widening of choices, 'an enhancement of freedom, and a fulfilment of human rights. This also simply means developing mentally, socially through growing and experiencing things in your life and learning new things.

The United Nations Development Programme defines human development as "the process of enlarging people's choices," said choices allowing them to "lead a long and healthy life, to be educated, to enjoy a decent standard of living," as well as "political freedom, other guaranteed human rights and various ingredients of self-respect."Development concerns expanding the choices people have, to lead lives that they value, and improving the human condition so that people have the chance to lead full lives. Thus, human development is about much more than economic growth, which is only a means of enlarging people's choices. Fundamental to enlarging these choices is building human capabilities—the range of things that people can do or be in life. Capabilities are "the substantive freedoms [a person] enjoys to lead the kind of life [they have] reason to value". Human development disperses the concentration of the distribution of goods and services underprivileged people need and center its ideas on human decisions. By investing in people, we enable growth and empower people to pursue many different life paths, thus developing human capabilities. The most basic capabilities for human development are to lead long and healthy lives, be knowledgeable (i.e., educated), have access to resources and social services needed for a decent standard of living, and be able to participate in the life of the community. Without these, many choices are not available, and many opportunities in life remain inaccessible.An abstract illustration of human capability is a bicycle. A bicycle itself is a resource—a mode of transportation. If the person who owns a bicycle is unable to ride it (due to a lack of balance or knowledge), the bicycle is useless to her or him as transportation and loses its functioning. If a person owns a bicycle and has the ability to ride a bicycle, they have the capability of riding to a friend's house, a local store, or a great number of other places. This capability would (presumably) increase their value of life and expand their choices. A person, therefore, needs both resources and the ability to use them to pursue their capabilities. This is one example of how different resources or skills can contribute to human capability. This way of looking at development, often forgotten in the immediate concern with accumulating commodities and financial wealth, is not new. Philosophers, economists, and political leaders emphasized human well being as the purpose, or the end, of development. As Aristotle said in ancient Greece, "Wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking, for it is merely useful for the sake of something else."

List of countries by GDP (nominal)

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of all final goods and services from a nation in a given year. Countries are sorted by nominal GDP estimates from financial and statistical institutions, which are calculated at market or government official exchange rates. Nominal GDP does not take into account differences in the cost of living in different countries, and the results can vary greatly from one year to another based on fluctuations in the exchange rates of the country's currency. Such fluctuations may change a country's ranking from one year to the next, even though they often make little or no difference in the standard of living of its population.Comparisons of national wealth are also frequently made on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP), to adjust for differences in the cost of living in different countries. PPP largely removes the exchange rate problem, but has its own drawbacks; it does not reflect the value of economic output in international trade, and it also requires more estimation than nominal GDP. On the whole, PPP per capita figures are less spread than nominal GDP per capita figures.The United States is the world's largest economy with a GDP of approximately $20.513 trillion, notably due to high average incomes, a large population, capital investment, moderate unemployment, high consumer spending, a relatively young population, and technological innovation. Tuvalu is the world's smallest national economy, with a GDP of about $32 million, because of its very small population, a lack of natural resources, reliance on foreign aid, negligible capital investment, demographic problems, and low average incomes.Although the rankings of national economies have changed considerably over time, the United States has maintained its top position since the Gilded Age, a time period in which its economy saw rapid expansion, surpassing the British Empire and Qing dynasty in aggregate output. Since China's transition to a market-based economy through privatisation and deregulation, the country has seen its ranking increase from ninth in 1978 to second to only the United States in 2016 as economic growth accelerated and its share of global nominal GDP surged from 2% in 1980 to 15% in 2016. India has also experienced a similar economic boom since the implementation of economic liberalisation in the early 1990s. When supranational entities are included, the European Union is the second largest economy in the world. It was the largest from 2004, when ten countries joined the union, to 2014, after which it was surpassed by the United States.The first list includes estimates compiled by the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook, the second list shows the World Bank's data, and the third list includes data compiled by the United Nations Statistics Division. The IMF definitive data for the past year and estimates for the current year are published twice a year in April and October. Several economies which are not considered to be countries (the world, the European Union, and some dependent territories) are included in the lists because they appear in the sources as distinct economies. These economies are italicized and not ranked in the charts, but are listed where applicable.

List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita

The world sorted by their gross domestic product per capita at nominal values. This is the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, converted at market exchange rates to current U.S. dollars, divided by the average population for the same year.

The figures presented here do not take into account differences in the cost of living in different countries, and the results vary greatly from one year to another based on fluctuations in the exchange rates of the country's currency. Such fluctuations change a country's ranking from one year to the next, even though they often make little or no difference to the standard of living of its population.

Therefore, these figures should be used with caution. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living; although this is problematic because GDP per capita is not a measure of personal income.

Comparisons of national income are also frequently made on the basis of purchasing power parity (PPP), to adjust for differences in the cost of living in different countries. (See List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita.) PPP largely removes the exchange rate problem but not others; it does not reflect the value of economic output in international trade, and it also requires more estimation than GDP per capita. On the whole, PPP per capita figures are more narrowly spread than nominal GDP per capita figures.

Non-sovereign entities (the world, continents, and some dependent territories) and states with limited international recognition (such as Kosovo, the State of Palestine and Taiwan) are included in the list in cases in which they appear in the sources. These economies are not ranked in the charts here, but are listed in sequence by GDP for comparison. They are marked in italics.

Note that the Irish GDP data below is subject to material distortion by the tax planning activities of foreign multinationals in Ireland. 2015 Irish GDP is over 150% of 2015 Irish GNI. To address this, in 2017 the Central Bank of Ireland created "modified GNI" (or GNI*) as a more appropriate statistic, and the OECD and IMF have adopted it for Ireland. 2015 Irish GDP is 143% of 2015 Irish GNI*.

All data are in current United States dollars. Historical data can be found here.

List of countries by Human Development Index

This is a full list of all the countries by the Human Development Index as included in a United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Report. The latest report was released on 14 September 2018 and is based on data collected in 2017.In the 2010 Human Development Report, a further Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI) was introduced. It stated that while the HDI remains useful, "the IHDI is the actual level of human development (accounting for inequality)" and "the HDI can be viewed as an index of "potential" human development (or the maximum IHDI that could be achieved if there were no inequality)". The index does not take into account several factors, such as the net wealth per capita or the relative quality of goods in a country. This situation tends to lower the ranking for some of the most advanced countries, such as the G7 members and others.

Patos de Minas

Patos de Minas is a municipality in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil.

Quality of life

Quality of life (QOL) is an overarching term for the quality of the various domains in life. It is a standard level that consists of the expectations of an individual or society for a good life. These expectations are guided by the values, goals and socio-cultural context in which an individual lives. It is a subjective, multidimensional concept that defines a standard level for emotional, physical, material and social well-being. It serves as a reference against which an individual or society can measure the different domains of one’s own life. The extent to which one's own life coincides with this desired standard level, put differently, the degree to which these domains give satisfaction and as such contribute to one's subjective well-being, is called life satisfaction.

Right to an adequate standard of living

The right to an adequate standard of living is recognized as a human right in international human rights instruments and is understood to establish a minimum entitlement to food, clothing and housing at an adequate level. The right to food and the right to housing have been further defined in human rights instruments.

The right to an adequate standard of living is enshrined in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The most significant inspiration for the inclusion of the right to an adequate standard of living in the UDHR was the Four Freedoms speech by US President Franklin Roosevelt, which declared amongst others the "freedom from want". Fulfillment of the right to an adequate standard of living depends on a number of other economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to property, the right to work, the right to education and the right to social security. There have been a number of proposed policies to guarantee people a basic standard of living through the concept of offering a basic income guarantee essentially gifting all citizens a basic level of "free money" in order to meet basic needs such as food and shelter.

Standard of living in China

In past times, the Chinese economy was characterized by widespread poverty, extreme income inequalities, and endemic insecurity of livelihood. Since then, the most concrete evidence of improved living standards has been that average national life expectancy has more than doubled, rising from around forty-four years in 1949 to sixty-eight years in 1985. In addition, the percentage of the Chinese population estimated to be living in absolute poverty fell from between 200-270 million in 1978 to 70 million in 2017.Until the end of the 1970s, the fruits of economic growth were largely negated by population increases, which prevented significant advances in the per capita availability of food, clothing, and housing beyond levels achieved in the 1950s.

In 1978, the Communist Party of China, under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, began to introduce market reforms, including decollectivizing agriculture, allowing foreign investment and individual entrepreneurship. After thirty years of austerity and marginal sufficiency, Chinese consumers suddenly were able to buy more than enough to eat from a growing variety of food items. Stylish clothing, modern furniture, and a wide array of electrical appliances also became part of the normal expectations of ordinary Chinese families.

Following the economic reforms introduced by the government in the late 1970s, consumption and individual incomes rose significantly, with the real per capita consumption of peasants rising at an annual rate of 6.7% from 1975 to 1986, while for urbanites over the same period, the corresponding figure was 5.5%. The improvements in the standard of living were demonstrated by a boom in rural and urban housing, together with a considerable increase in the ownership of televisions and other appliances.

Standard of living in India

Standard of living in India varies from state to state. With one of the fastest growing economies in the world, clocked at a growth rate of 7.6% in 2015, India is on its way to becoming a large and globally important consumer economy. According to Deutsche Bank Research, there are between 30 million and 300 million middle-class people in India. If current trends continue, India's share of world GDP will significantly increase from 7.3 in 2016 to 8.5 percent of the world share by 2020. In 2011, less than 22 percent of Indians lived under the global poverty line, nearly an 8 percent reduction from 29.8 percent just two years prior in 2009.Indian middle class is 3% or 40 million of Indian population. Another estimate put the Indian middle class as numbering 475 million people by 2030. It is estimated that average real wages will quadruple between 2013 and 2030.The standard of living in India shows large disparity. For example, there is widespread poverty in rural areas of India, where medical care tends to be very basic or unavailable, while cities boast of world class medical establishments. Similarly, the very latest machinery may be used in some construction projects, but many construction workers work without mechanisation in most projects. However, a rural middle class is now emerging in India, with some rural areas seeing increasing prosperity.In 2010, the per capita PPP-adjusted GDP for India was US$3,608.

Standard of living in Israel

Israel's standard of living is significantly higher than that of most other countries in the region, and is comparable to that of other highly developed countries. Israel was ranked 19th on the 2016 UN Human Development Index, indicating "very high" development. It is considered a high-income country by the World Bank. Israel also has a very high life expectancy at birth. The population still suffers from poverty, though these rates vary.

Standard of living in Pakistan

The standard of living in Pakistan differentiates and varies between different classes of society. Pakistan is a largely developing country and according to the Human Development Index, is ranked 147th out of 170 countries, upper side of "low human development."Despite having a growing middle class numbering over 70 million, a large portion of the country's population remains poor. Poverty, unemployment and a population boom contribute to Pakistan's current social problems. As of 2008, over 17% of the total population was found abjectly living below the poverty line while the unemployment rate, as of 2010, lumbered up to an unprecedented 15%. Poor governance and political insecurity have further added to the issues faced by the average

Standard of living in the United States

The standard of living in the United States is high by the standards that most economists use, and for many decades throughout the 20th century, the United States was recognized as having the highest standard of living in the world. Per capita income is high but also less evenly distributed than in most other developed countries; as a result, the United States fares particularly well in measures of average material well being that do not place weight on equality aspects.

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