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indicator value unit
Population 142.8 mil.
Visitors per year 23.7 mil.
Renewable energy 2.8 %

How’s Life?

The Russian Federation has made progress over the last decade in improving the quality of life of its citizens, despite lower than average scores in some topics on the Better Life Index.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Russia, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is 17 230 USD a year, less than the OECD average of 23 938 USD a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn six times as much as the bottom 20%.

In terms of employment, around 69% of people aged 15 to 64 in Russia have a paid job, slightly above the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 74% of men are in paid work, compared with 65% of women. People in Russia work 1 982 hours a year, more than the OECD average of 1 765 hours. Another key measure, however, is how many people work very long hours. Very few employees work very long hours, compared with 9% on average across the OECD.

Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In Russia, 94% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, much higher than the OECD average of 75%. This is truer of women than men, as 93% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 95% of women. In terms of the quality of the educational system, the average student scored 481 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), lower than the OECD average of 497. On average in Russia, girls outperformed boys by 16 points, higher than the average OECD gap of 8 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Russia is 69 years, more than a decade below the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 75 years, compared with 63 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 14.5 micrograms per cubic meter, lower than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Russia could do better in terms of water quality, as only 44% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, below the OECD average of 84%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and level of civic participation in Russia, where 84% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, less than the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 65% during recent elections; this figure is lower than the OECD average of 72%. There is little difference in voting levels across society; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 70% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 66%, a much narrower gap than the OECD average gap of 11 percentage points, suggesting there is broad social inclusion in Russia’s democratic institutions

In general, Russians are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 73% 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 76%.

For more information on estimates and years of reference, see FAQ section and BLI database.

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OECD in Action

OECD Economic Surveys: Russian Federation 2013

OECD's 2013 review of the Russian economy examines recent economic developments, prospects and policies. Special chapters cover boosting productivity by improving the business climate and skills.

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