The Better Life Index has been referred to in different ways in recent press releases: “The Happiness Index”, “The Good Life Index”, “The Quality of Life Index”… You could call it a global survey asking people what they think is important. To answer this question, the many press releases and online reactions are a good place to start.
All articles mention Australia’s success. Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal devoted entire articles to the reasons behind the country’s strong performance in the indicator. The following Wall Street Journal video also illustrates Australia’s success story. Many news agencies focus on their own countries: the Jerusalem Post writing about Israel’s ranking, the Moscow News about Russia’s, and the Globe and Mail giving details on Canada.
Described as “rather beautiful” by the Guardian, the Better Life Index design has received general appraisal, both for its aesthetics and its simplicity. While the beauty of the original piece remains intact, access to comparison with other demographics is appreciated by authors from the Flowing Data blog. As simple as child’s play, according to French article “Plus Belle la Vie” from Slate, the Better Life Index has taken a step in the right direction in popularising economic data.
Many steps remain however and these will be guided by feedback and questions on the Index. For example, lack of consideration of inequality was one of the major criticisms of the index in the past, according to the Guardian. This year, users can breakdown their indicator according to gender and then access relevant data on inequality for each indicator. Further debates on this question and the issue of sustainability can be followed in this video from France Inter (Only in French):
From Bloomberg, to the blog of a self-described “feminist geek”, these articles reveal just how much wide-ranging interest has been generated by the Better Life Index.