Did You Know?
The Czech Republic performs favourably in several measures of well-being, and ranks close to the average in a large number of topics in the Better Life Index.
Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In the Czech Republic, the average person earns 16 614 USD a year, less than the OECD average of 22 387 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn four times as much as the bottom 20%.
In terms of employment, some 65% of people aged 15 to 64 in the Czech Republic have a paid job, slightly below the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 74% of men are in paid work, compared with 56% of women. People in the Czech Republic work 1 947 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1 749 hours. Some 9% of employees work very long hours, in line with the OECD average, with 13% of men working very long hours compared with just 4% for women.
Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In the Czech Republic, 91% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, well above the OECD average of 74% and among the highest rates in the OECD. This is truer of men than women, as 94% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 88% of women. This difference is higher than the OECD average and suggests women’s participation in higher education could be strengthened. In terms of education quality, the average student scored 490 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This score is lower than the OECD average of 497. On average in the Czech Republic, girls outperformed boys by 16 points, a far wider gender gap than the OECD average of 9 points.
In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in the Czech Republic is almost 78 years, two years lower than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 81 years, compared with 74 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs –is 18 micrograms per cubic meter, lower than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic meter. The Czech Republic also does well in terms of water quality, as 87% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water.
Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and moderate levels of civic participation in the Czech Republic, where 91% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, in line with the OECD average. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 64% during recent elections; this figure is lower than the OECD average of 73%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 70% and for the bottom 20% it is 57%, considerably wider than the OECD average gap of 7%.
In general, Czechs are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 75% of people saying they have more positive experiences in an average day (feelings of rest, pride in accomplishment, enjoyment, etc) than negative ones (pain, worry, sadness, boredom, etc). This figure is lower than the OECD average of 80%.