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A value based index for measuring national quality of life


A new index of the quality of life (QOL) of nations was created. The measured variables are selected based on a universal set of human values derived from the work of Schwartz (1994). The Basic QOL Index, designed primarily to discriminate between developing countries, includes seven variables: purchasing power, homicide rate, fulfillment of basic physical needs, suicide rate, literacy rate, gross human rights violations, and deforestation. The Advanced QOL Index, designed primarily to assess QOL in highly industrialized nations, includes seven variables: physicians per capita, savings rate, per capita income, subjective well-being, percent attending college, income equality, and environmental treaties signed. Combining the two indices produced a reliable measure of QOL that systematically covers diverse human values. The nations scoring highest on the Combined QOL Index were Canada, Switzerland, Netherlands, U.S.A., and Norway, and those scoring lowest were Ethiopia and Rwanda.

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Diener, E. A value based index for measuring national quality of life. Soc Indic Res 36, 107–127 (1995).

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  • Measured Variable
  • Capita Income
  • Reliable Measure
  • Suicide Rate
  • National Quality