Did You Know?
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 person earns 13 911 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 nine times as much as the bottom 20%.
In terms of employment, over 67% of people aged 15 to 64 in Russia have a paid job, slightly above the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 72% of men are in paid work, compared with 63% of women. People in Russia work 1 976 hours a year, more than most people in the OECD who work 1749 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, 88% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, much higher than the OECD average of 74%. This is equally true of men and women. In terms of the quality of the educational system, the average student scored 469 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 15 points, higher than the average OECD gap of 9 points.
In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Russia is 69 years, eleven years lower than 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 16 micrograms per cubic meter, lower than the OECD average of 22 micrograms per cubic meter. Russia could do better in terms of water quality, as only 51% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, below the OECD average of 85%.
Concerning the public sphere, there is a moderate sense of community and level of civic participation in Russia, where 88% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, lower than the OECD average of 91%. 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%. There is little difference in voting levels across society; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 67% and for the bottom 20% it is 66%, much narrower than the OECD average gap of 7% and 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 74% 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%.