United Kingdom

Population: 67.1 million

  • Ranks above the average in personal security, environmental quality, civic engagement, social connections, health status, jobs and earnings, income and wealth, education and skills, and subjective well-being. It is below average in work-life balance and housing.
  • Average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD 28,715 a year, lower than the OECD average of USD 33 604 a year. There is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest – the top 20% of the population earn six times as much as the bottom 20%.
  • 75% of people aged 15 to 64 in the United Kingdom have a paid job, above the OECD employment average of 68%. Some 80% of men are in paid work, compared with 70% of women. In the United Kingdom, about 12% of employees work very long hours, below with the OECD average, with 18% of men working very long hours compared with just 7% of women.
  • 81% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, higher than the OECD average of 78%. This is slightly truer of men than women, as 82% 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 500 in reading literacy, maths and science in the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), higher than the OECD average of 486. On average in the United Kingdom, girls outperformed boys by 4 points, more than the average OECD gap of 2 points.
  • Life expectancy at birth in the United Kingdom is 81 years, one year higher than the OECD average. Life expectancy for women is 83 years, compared with 79 for men.
  • The level of atmospheric PM2.5 – tiny air pollutant particles small enough to enter and cause damage to the lungs – is 11.3 micrograms per cubic meter, lower than the OECD average of 13.9 micrograms per cubic meter.
  • Water quality: 84% of people say they are satisfied with the quality of their water, more than the OECD average of 81%.
  • Strong sense of community and a moderate level of civic participation in the United Kingdom, where 94% of people believe that they know someone they could rely on in time of need, more than the OECD average of 89%. Voter turnout, a measure of citizens’ participation in the political process, was 69% during recent elections, broadly in line with the OECD average 68%. Social and economic status can affect voting rates; voter turnout for the top 20% of the population is an estimated 67% and for the bottom 20% it is an estimated 46%, a broader difference than the OECD average gap of 13 percentage points, and points to shortcomings in the political mobilisation of the worst-off.
  • General satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, British people gave ita 6.8 grade on average,  slightly higher than the OECD average of 6.5.