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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. The Russian Federation ranks above the average in work-life balance,  but below average in the dimensions of subjective well-being, income and wealth, personal security, environmental quality, housing, civic engagement, and health status.

Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In the Russian Federation, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 19 292 a year, less than the OECD average of USD 25 908 a year. But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population close to eight 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, above the OECD employment average of 65%. Some 74% of men are in paid work, compared with 65% of women. In the Russian Federation,  very few employees work very long hours, at 0.2% compared with 13% on average across the OECD.

Good education and skills are important requisites for finding a job. In Russia, 94% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, much higher than the OECD average of 75%. This is truer of women than men, as 94% 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 the Russian Federation, girls outperformed boys by 16 points, higher than the average OECD gap of 8 points.

In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in the Russian Federation is 70 years, close to a decade below the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 76 years, compared with 65 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 in large urban areas, lower than the OECD average of 20.1 micrograms per cubic meter. The Russian Federation could do better in terms of water quality, as only 56% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, below the OECD average of 81%.

Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and level of civic participation in the Russian Federation, where 90% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, more than the OECD average of 88%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 65% during recent elections; this figure is lower than the OECD average of 68%. 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 13 percentage points, and suggests there is broad social inclusion in Russia’s democratic institutions.

In general, Russians are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average. When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Russians gave it a 6.0 grade, lower than the OECD average of 6.6.

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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