Social Indicators Research

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 23-40

First online:

Predicting the quality of life in the United States

  • Ruth C. YoungAffiliated withCornell UniversityUniversity of California
  • , Dean MaccannellAffiliated withCornell UniversityUniversity of California

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A principal components analysis performed by David M. Smith on 47 U.S. state level indicators of social well-being yielded several components. The first two of these are socio-economic well-being and social pathology. Structural hypotheses are offered to explain state differences in these components. The structural variables condensed by a principal components analysis of state political, economic and social structure measures are differentiation, flexibility-rigidity, and progressive industrialization. These, along with several population measures, determine a substantial part of the variance in the two measures of social well-being.