Standard of Living Definition

What Is Standard of Living ?

Standard of living refers to the quantity and quality of material goods and services available to a given population .

Key Takeaways

  • Standard of living is the material well being of the average person in a given population.
  • It is typically measured using gross domestic product (GDP) per capita.
  • Standard of living and quality of life utilize some of the same data, but standard of living represents a more physical aspect of life while quality of life represents the more intangible aspects.
  • One alternative standard of living data set is the Human Development Index (HDI), which uses many factors from life expectancy and education, to gross national income (GNI), and homicide rates. 


Understanding Standard of Living

Standard of be focuses on basic fabric factors such as income, gross domestic product ( GDP ), life anticipation, and economic opportunity. It is closely related to quality of life, which can besides explore factors such as economic and political stability, political and religious exemption, environmental quality, climate, and base hit .

Standard of living is much used to compare geographic areas, such as the standard of survive in the United States versus Canada, or the standard of survive in St. Louis versus New York. Standard of life can besides be used to compare discrete points in time .

For example, compared with a century ago, the standard of survive in the United States has improved greatly. The like total of knead buys an increase quantity of goods, and items that were once luxuries, such as refrigerators and automobiles, are nowadays widely available. furthermore, life anticipation has increased, and annual hours worked have decreased.

In a minute sense, economists frequently measure standard of animation using GDP. Per caput GDP provides a promptly, rough estimate of the full amount of goods and services available per person. While numerous, more complex, and nuanced metrics of standard of surviving have been devised, many of them correlate highly with per head GDP .

Standard of living is broadly measured using per head GDP. Standards of support are normally higher in develop countries. In fact, basic measures of standard of populate, such as per caput GDP, are frequently used to define the differences between more and less modernize countries. Emerging market economies normally see rising standards of populate over time as they grow and develop into advanced, industrialized economies .

Standard of Living Example

One bill of standard of live is the United Nations ‘ Human Development Index ( HDI ), which scores 189 countries based on factors including life anticipation at parentage, education, and income per caput. As of 2019, the countries with the five highest HDI scores are Norway ( 0.957 ), Ireland and Switzerland ( 0.955 ), Hong Kong and Iceland ( 0.949 ), and Germany ( 0.947 ) .

conversely, the countries with the five lowest 2019 HDI scores are Niger ( 0.394 ), cardinal African Republic ( 0.397 ), Chad ( 0.398 ), Burundi and South Sudan ( 0.433 ), and Mali ( 0.434 ). The United States came in at # 17 while China was # 85.

To exemplify the deviation between the scores of 0.957 and 0.394, Norway has a life anticipation at parentage of 82.4 years, 18.1 expected years of schooling per citizen, gross national income ( GNI ) per caput of $ 66,494 ( purchasing power parity-adjusted currency units ), a homicide rate per 100,000 people of 0.5, and an internet usage pace of 96.5 % of its population. Niger, meanwhile, has a life anticipation at parturition of 62.4 years, 6.5 expected years of educate, a GNI per caput of $ 1,201, a homicide rate of 4.44, and an internet use pace of 5.3 % .

The U.S. scored seventeenth on the list, with a unite score of 0.926, a life sentence anticipation at give birth of 78.9 years, 16.3 expected years of schooling, and GNI per caput of $ 63,826.

Standard of Living vs. Quality of Life

The terms criterion of populate and quality of biography are frequently believed to mean the lapp. While they may overlap, there is a deviation between the two .

Standard of living broadly refers to wealth, comfort, material goods, and necessities of certain classes in certain areas—or more objective characteristics—whereas quality of life sentence is more subjective and intangible, such as personal shore leave or environmental quality. Characteristics that make up a good quality of life sentence for one person may not necessarily be the same for person else .

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