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Living Standards Report

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Introduction

Living Standards Report Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is defined as the value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year, plus income earned by its citizens abroad, minus income earned by foreigners from domestic production. The GDP figure for the USA was $36,300 whilst the UK's was only $24,700. I have chosen 6 measures to prove that the GDP figure does not represent living standards but just shows what the average income is. These measures are the Gini index, the rate of literacy, the infant mortality rate, life expectancy, unemployment rate and the death rate. The Gini index is calculated from the Lorenz curve, in which cumulative family income is plotted against the number of families arranged from the poorest to the richest. The index is the ratio of the area between a country's Lorenz curve and the 45 degree helping line to the entire triangular area under the 45 degree line. The more nearly equal a country's income distribution, the closer its Lorenz curve to the 45 degree line and the lower its Gini index, e.g., a Scandinavian country with an index of 25. ...read more.

Middle

An increase in skilled workers could increase the economic activity in that country and therefore make the country more profitable. The infant mortality rate is the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1000 live births in the same year. In the UK this figure was 5.45 deaths per 1000 live births and in the USA the figure was 6.69 deaths per 1000 live births. These figures could be used to measure the health care of new born babies but that doesn't take into account "still - born" babies. The figures show that the UK has a lower number of babies dying under the age of 1. Is this because there isn't a free health care provided by the government? The death rate gives the average annual number of deaths during a year per 1000 population at midyear. It is also known as the crude death rate. The death rate, while only a rough indicator of the mortality situation in a country, accurately indicates the current mortality impact on population growth. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is related to population as the higher the population is the higher, in numbers, the unemployment is. The figure for the UK was 5.1% and the figure for the USA was 5%. This shows that the USA has more people employed but because of the USA having such a high population the unemployment figure is still very high. These 6 factors show that other things must be included to represent the quality of living standards in any country instead of just the GDP figure. These figures could be decreased by the government spending more on certain areas such as education or health but if there is an increase in these areas then the GDP figure is likely to fall as taxes and other factors would have to be increased. I would have liked to show other relevant factors, such as crime rate and how much of the population was connected to clean water but I could not find the data. In most of these factors the UK was doing better than the USA so from that I can conclude that there is a better living standard or a better quality of life in the UK. Living Standards Report 01/05/2007 By Ben Sharp Page 1 ...read more.

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