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The standard of living is the measure of the material well being of the given population.

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The standard of living is the measure of the material well being of the given population. This would include things such as your properties, motors, incomes etc.... it covers anything that can be given a monetary values and excludes those that cannot e.g. happiness or luck. The standard of living is measured mainly by the GDP per capita and focuses on incomes this provides a general guide to the well -being - materialistically of the population in question. If the GDP were increasing this would suggest that the population is better off, there is more wealth within the economy, one may assume there is fuller employment and people are spending more as more is produced. If people are thought to be better off one assume this to signify that people are happier but this is not necessarily true but as this cannot be measured it has to be sidelined. Health is another important factor which is difficult to identify within monetary terms however there are different statistics which can be produced e.g. number of doctors per hospital etc... when the standard f living is measure if comparing over time it will be adjusted for inflation and dealt with in real terms. ...read more.


Economic 'bads' can increase the figure of the standard of living, even though the 'quality of life' has decreased. For example traffic jams cause more petrol to be consumed but increase the income and output of a county. Also the environment can be damaged in this case, but one person may hold a higher value for the environment than another. These valuation problems apply to health and defense the output of these does not have a market price but the value is determined by the cost of producing them. The quality of life can also be over o under valued because say we take longer holidays output and income may fall but happiness will increase, similarly a crackdown on pollution by rise the prices of supply and therefore consumption but make our lives intrinsically more happy. Another method of measuring the living standard of an economy could be to examine the consumer durables. Thee can be anything from cars to washing machines to nice houses to computers. It is theorized that the more of these items you own the higher your standard of living would be. ...read more.


doctor - a measure of health provision in a country o Hospital waiting lists for important operations o The number of children per thousand of the population who die each year (infant mortality rates) o The average food intake per person (measured by average calorific intake) o The proportion of the population that can read or write - literacy rates o Average educational attainment at different age levels o Crime rates o Divorce rates These statistics should indicate what proportion of the population is enjoying a minimum standard of living although perceptions of what is needed for a basic quality of life vary. The figures could be misleading as in developing nations increases would imply better standards of living and more westernized countries would appear to be worse than they are. In conclusion I think the HDI is the best method to provide an overall picture of the economy and covers very many social aspects which are key to determining somebody's quality of life. The GDP method is the most reliable statistically and most through but the problems outlined are particularly heard to overcome in particular that of the black economy. The consumer durable methods is extremely inefficient ad indicates of nothing expect consumer spending patterns. ...read more.

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