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5% increase in life satisfaction in Ireland – OECD report

Analysis by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development shows that life satisfaction rose in Ireland by 5% or more between 2013 and 2018.

The How’s Life report, which looks at all aspects of well-being from health and social connections to income and security, shows that since 2013 life satisfaction has either remained stable or increased in most OECD countries.

Ireland was one of ten countries where life satisfaction rose by 5% or more. The other countries were Portugal, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Korea, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Italy and Slovenia.

However, the report also shows less positive findings.

While housing affordability has improved in 11 OECD countries, it has consistently worsened in ten. Finland, Ireland and Portugal now spend over 2% more of their income on housing than they did in 2010.

In terms of working hours, the biggest increase in the number of people spending long hours at work is in Ireland.

The report shows that on average, around 7% of employees in OECD countries routinely work 50 hours or more each week.

However, the “strongest increase” (2%) in people spending long hours at work is occurring in Ireland. 

When it comes to high speed broadband, there are differences in high-speed internet access between urban and rural areas in most OECD countries.

Along with Greece, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, Spain, Lithuania and Hungary, the gap in high-speed internet access between large urban areas and rural areas in Ireland exceeds 11%.

By contrast, the smallest differences (below 1 percentage point) are in Iceland, the Netherlands and the UK.

Less than half of the population in the average OECD country, 43%, trust their national government.

But this represents a slight improvement from the 40% level recorded in the aftermath of the financial crisis in 2010-12.

The largest increases in trust of more than 15 percentage points, occurred in the Czech Republic, Ireland and Japan.

When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions per capita, 16 out of 37 OECD countries have consistently increased their material footprint per capita.

By contrast, three OECD countries with below average footprints bucked the overall trend and consistently improved their consumption of the Earth’s materials – material footprints fell by more than three tonnes per capita in Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

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