Did You Know?
The Slovak Republic performs only moderately well in overall measures of well-being, as it ranks lower or 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 Slovak Republic, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 16 682 USD a year, less than the OECD average of 23 047 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, 59% of people aged 15 to 64 in the Slovak Republic have a paid job, below the OECD employment average of 66%. Some 66% of men are in paid work, compared with 53% of women. People in the Slovak Republic work 1 793 hours a year, slightly more than the OECD average of 1 776 hours. Around 6% of employees work very long hours, lower than the OECD average of 9%, with 9% of men working very long hours compared with just 3% for women.
Having a good education is an important requisite for finding a job. In the Slovak Republic, 91% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 74%. This is slightly truer of men than women, as 93% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 89% of women. In terms of the quality of the educational system, the average student scored 488 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 Slovak Republic, girls outperformed boys by 16 points, more than the average OECD gap of 9 points.
In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in the Slovak Republic is 76 year, four years lower than the OECD average of 80 years. Life expectancy for women is 80 years, compared with 72 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 12 micrograms per cubic meter, considerably lower than the OECD average of 21 micrograms per cubic meter. The Slovak Republic could do better in terms of water quality, as only 81% 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 the Slovak Republic, where 89% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, slightly lower than the OECD average of 90%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 59% during recent elections; this figure is much lower than the OECD average of 72%. Voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 64% and for the bottom 20% it is 60%, much narrower than the OECD average gap of 12 percentage points and suggesting there is broad social inclusion in the Slovak Republic’s democratic institutions.
In general, Slovaks 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%.