Did You Know?
Slovenia performs favourably in several measures of well-being, and ranks close to the average or higher in several topics in the Better Life Index.
Money, while it cannot buy happiness, is an important means to achieving higher living standards. In Slovenia, the average household net-adjusted disposable income is 19 119 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 more than three times as much as the bottom 20%.
In terms of employment, 64% of people aged 15 to 64 in Slovenia have a paid job, slightly below the 66% OECD employment average. Some 68% of men are in paid work, compared with 61% of women. People in Slovenia work 1 662 hours a year, less than the OECD average of 1 776 hours. Approximately 6% of employees work very long hours, slightly less than the OECD average of 9%, with 8% 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 Slovenia, 83% of adults aged 25-64 have earned the equivalent of a high-school degree, higher than the OECD average of 74%. This is truer of men than women, as 85% of men have successfully completed high-school compared with 81% of women. In terms of the quality of the educational system, the average student scored 499 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), slightly higher than the OECD average of 497. On average in Slovenia, girls outperformed boys by 22 points, higher than the average OECD gap of 9 points.
In terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Slovenia is almost 80 years, in line with the OECD average. Life expectancy for women is 83 years, compared with 77 for men. The level of atmospheric PM10 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 26 micrograms per cubic meter, higher than the OECD average of 21 micrograms per cubic meter. Slovenia performs better in terms of water quality, as 87% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, higher than the OECD average of 84%.
Concerning the public sphere, there is a strong sense of community and a moderate level of civic participation in Slovenia, where 92% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, higher than the OECD average of 90%. Voter turnout, a measure of public trust in government and of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 66% during recent elections. This figure is lower than the OECD average of 72%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is 75% and for the bottom 20% it is 62%, a slightly broader difference than the OECD average gap of 12 percentage points.
In general, Slovenians are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 72% 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%.