Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Public Life Advocate: The Tracker (March 2006)

* “Quality of Life, Well-Being, and Livability” is generally measured by social indicators such as health, economic indices, and subjective experiences.

* The Centers for Disease and Control measures quality of life relative to general physical health, general mental well-being, and activity limitation.

* Quality-adjusted life years, or QALYs, is a measure of the benefit of a medical intervention based on the number of years of life that would be added by the intervention.

* There are over 25 reputable resources measuring the quality of life for children, and 25 separate tools to measure quality of life during terminal and palliative care.

* It is generally accepted that measuring quality of life associated with gender equality, family life, job security, political freedom, social capital, and community life varies according to survey definitions and design.

* The Vanderford-Riley Well-Being Schedule examines per capita full time equivalent hours worked per week, the value of equity in property per person, the ratio of property owners to non-owners, and ratio of self-employment to total employment.

* A country’s well-being is often examined using the Gross National Product (GNP). GNP is the total value of final goods and services produced in a year by a country's nationals (including profits from capital held abroad).

* A country’s well-being is often examined using Gross Domestic Product (GDP). GDP is defined as the total value of final goods and services produced within a country's borders in a year, regardless of ownership.

* The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) examines well-being as a country’s economic growth in relation to the improvement of the welfare of the people of that country.

* The Gross National Happiness (GNH) index measures quality of life based on whether material and spiritual development of a society occurs simultaneously.

* The United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) is a comparative measure of well-being examining poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, childbirth, and other worldwide factors.

* The Economist measures quality of life according to nine indices: material well-being, health, political stability and security, family life, community life, climate and geography, job security, political freedom, and gender equality. In 2005 the U.S. ranked 13th behind 9 European countries.