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Is it possible to measure the quality of life? The Organization for Cooperation & Economic Development (OCSE) believes that the "wellness" of a country is closely linked to its economic situation. The difficulty of measuring a concept, which is highly subjective, has motivated researchers to give a much closer look at the PIL, Gross National Product, of various countries around the world, which measures the wealth and the services which each country provides.
The latest report of the OCSE measuring 34 member countries including 24 European, 4 American, 4 Asian and 2 Oceania region, focuses on 11 dimensions of wellbeing utilizing a variety of indicators. In Europe the profound financial crisis has generated a sharp increase in the poverty level especially among young adults.
There has been a general decline in trusting governmental institutions among Europeans. On a positive note, women are finding more job opportunities even if they earn less than their male counterparts, work longer hours, and still have difficulty rising to managerial positions.
One of the most interesting findings is a study of the relationship between wellbeing and professional life.
This study indicates that those with a low level education, who earn a low level salary, also enjoy an inferior level of health and wellbeing. In Europe 50% of the workforce admits to working in disorganized environments with poor interpersonal relationships which they believe has a direct negative effect on their health. Italy is still slightly above the media for balance between professional and private life, economic conditions, and health of its citizens.
However there are other negative indicators for Italy including perceived wellbeing, quality of education, and the environment. It is hoped that these studies can motivate governments to better the lives of its citizens.
If for example a government works to decrease unemployment and increase minimum wages, without addressing workplace conditions and the environment, the individual citizen will probably be critical. OSCE reminds us that the level of wellbeing must necessarily respect the territory and financial situation in which it operates, otherwise the next generation will find itself paying for the previous one, and with the same set of problems. Let’s hope that Italy can start making the right choices.