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6 measurable statistics that give an indication of a country's standard of living (not including average income and
GDP). Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, happiness, comfort, material foods, and necessities available to
a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area.
Human Development Index (HDI).
The Human Development Index was instituted in 1990 as a way to assess the development in terms of human
wellbeing as well as economics. It's a composite statistic that takes into account health, education and
Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI).
It covers points such as: crime and family breakdown, household and volunteer work, income distribution and
Index of Social Health
16 indicators in the Index of Social Health, e.g. affordable housing, child poverty, infant mortality,
unemployment, child abuse, violent crime and youth suicide.
If a person is unable to read or write they are unable to get a better job. Not being able to do these things
means a person has to do a lower level job, thus, making less money and they will have a lower standard of
The percentage of people in a country's workforce which earns less than the minimum level of income
deemed adequate in a given country. If a person has insufficient funds to support their chosen lifestyle then
they will not feel happy and have a lower standard of living.
Ownership of Consumer Durables
Ownership levels are affected by the trend in price levels, household incomes, changes in tastes and
preferences, the emergence of new general purpose technologies and factors such as consumer borrowing
Gross National Happiness Index
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Economic Growth?
Advantages / Benefits Disadvantages / Costs
Higher standards of living and greater prosperity for Inflation risks, demand-pull and cost-push inflation if
individuals. demand grows faster than long run productive potential.
Potential environmental benefits richer countries have Regional disparities, although average living standards
more resources available to invest in cleaner may be rising, the gap between rich and poor can widen
technologies. leading to an increase in relative poverty.
The accelerator effect of growth on capital investment. The environment, negative externalities e.g. increased
noise and air pollution and road congestion.
Lower rates of poverty. Inequalities of income and wealth.
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Rising employment levels.
Greater business confidence.
Problems of using GDP per head statistics to make international living standards comparisons.
Official data on a nation's GDP tends to understate the true growth of real national income per capita over time due
to the expansion of the shadow (or underground) economy and also the value of unpaid work done by millions of
volunteers and people caring for their family members.…read more