Standard of living

Standard of living

The standard of living refers to the quality and quantity of goods and services available to people, and the way these goods and services are distributed within a population. It is generally measured by standards such as income inequality, poverty rate, real (i.e. inflation adjusted) income per person. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, educational standards and social rights are often used as well. Examples are access to certain goods (such as number of refrigerators per 1000 people), or measures of health such as life desires. It is the ease by which people living in a time or place are able to satisfy their wants.

The idea of a 'standard' may be contrasted with the quality of life, which takes into account not only the material standard of living, but also other more intangible aspects that make up to human life, such as leisure, safety, cultural resources, social life, mental health, environmental quality issues etc. More complex means of measuring well-being must be employed to make such judgments, and these are very often political, thus controversial. Even among two nations or societies that have similar material standards of living, quality of life factors may in fact make one of these places more attractive to a given individual or group.

However, there can be problems even with just using numerical averages to compare material standards of living, as opposed to, for instance, a Pareto index (a measure of the breadth of income or wealth distribution). Standards of living are perhaps inherently subjective. As an example, countries with a very small, very rich upper class and a very large, very poor lower class may have a high mean level of income, even though the majority of people have a low "standard of living". This mirrors the problem of poverty measurement, which also tends towards the relative. This illustrates how distribution of income can disguise the actual Standard of living.

There are many factors being considered before measuring standard of living. Some factors are gross domestic product, the per capita income, population, infrastructural development, stability (political and social), and many other indicators.

ee also

*World's Most Livable Cities

External links

* [http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/IndustrialRevolutionandtheStandardofLiving.html "Industrial Revolution and the Standard of Living"] by Freddy Madero


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • standard of living — ˌstandard of ˈliving noun standards of living PLURALFORM [countable usually singular] ECONOMICS the amount of wealth or comfort that a person, group, or country has: • Two incomes are generally required to maintain a decent middle class standard… …   Financial and business terms

  • standard of living — n [C usually singular] the amount of wealth, comfort, and other things that a particular person, group, country etc has = ↑living standard high/low standard of living ▪ a nation with a high standard of living …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • standard of living — noun singular the type of life that a person or society has according to the amount of money they have: a high/low standard of living: Japan has a very high standard of living …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • standard of living — ► NOUN ▪ the degree of material comfort available to a person or community …   English terms dictionary

  • standard of living — n. a level of subsistence, as of a nation, social class, or person, with reference to the adequacy of necessities and comforts in daily life …   English World dictionary

  • standard of living — noun a level of material comfort in terms of goods and services available to someone or some group (Freq. 2) they enjoyed the highest standard of living in the country the lower the standard of living the easier it is to introduce an autocratic… …   Useful english dictionary

  • standard of living — a grade or level of subsistence and comfort in everyday life enjoyed by a community, class, or individual: The well educated generally have a high standard of living. Also called living standard. [1900 05] * * * Level of material comfort that an… …   Universalium

  • Standard Of Living — The level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area. The standard of living includes factors such as income, quality and availability of employment, class disparity …   Investment dictionary

  • standard of living — n. 1) to raise the standard of living 2) a high; low standard of living 3) a standard of living falls, goes down; goes up, rises * * * goes down goes up low standard of living rises a high a standard of living falls to raise the standard of… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • standard of living —    Although there is no single agreed measure for comparing living standards across different countries, there can be no doubt that in absolute terms the standard of living of the average Spaniard has improved beyond recognition in the past… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture


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