The wellbeing of Guernsey residents stacks up favourably against some of the largest jurisdictions in the world - but the average cost of household expenditure remains significantly higher than many other places, according to the latest OECD Wellbeing report.
In 2016, the States of Guernsey outlined a 20-year vision for Guernsey to "be among the happiest and healthiest places in the world, where everyone has equal opportunity to achieve their potential." To this end, an adapted version of the OECD indicators were adopted in 2017 to monitor progress towards these goals.
The Better Life Index Initiative uses a set of 'indicators' such as income, employment rates, and voter turnout to gauge the overall living standards of jurisdictions on a global scale.
On an international level, the Bailiwick compares favourably in most of the categories measured by the OECD, with the second highest household income per capita and lowest homicide rate amongst the other member countries.
The island also appears to have higher voter turnout for elections, and significantly lower long-term unemployment, than many of the other countries compared in the study. However, Guernsey's housing expenditure is among the highest in the survey, with the cost of housing making up 24% of the average family's disposable income.
Despite this, Guernsey still comes close to the highest scores on both an international comparison, and a regional comparison with the UK. According to the survey, the Bailiwick has the highest average disposable income per household amongst the 13 regions analysed by the OECD, as well as the lowest unemployment rate. The Bailiwick was also found to have the most accessible broadband in the UK, with 98% of households able to access the internet in 2019.
"Ambition to become one of the happiest and healthiest communities in the world was mocked in some quarters in 2016," said Deputy Gavin St Pier in a tweet about the report.
"It's encouraging to see that the better life indicators in 2019, pre-pandemic, have us on track, and this year's experience has reinforced that view for many of course."
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