Declining quality of life in Germany

Declining quality of life in Germany

The OECD has published a new study on the quality of life in the member states, with a terrifying result for Germany: in terms of factors such as income, education or health, Germany has lost contact with the world leadersn

According to the OECD study, Nordic countries are far ahead in terms of higher quality of life. Places one to three are occupied by Norway, followed by Sweden and Finland. Japan and New Zealand also performed extremely positively in the study. In the entire study, only Denmark, the USA, Belgium and Portugal do worse than Germany than Germany, whereby the quality of life in Denmark was assessed as negative, particularly due to the high environmental impact.

Progress index for measuring quality of life
To assess the quality of life in the various economies, the OECD scientists have developed a so-called progress index, which is intended to cover the full range of prosperity as far as possible. In addition to economic development, the value also takes into account life expectancy, the level of education and the environmental impact of private individuals and companies in the respective country.

Germany 14th worldwide
In terms of per capita income, Germany ranks 14th among the examined economies according to the OECD, which corresponds to a below-average ranking. The top positions are occupied by Norway, the USA and Sweden. Spain, New Zealand and Portugal came last in terms of per capita income. When examining life expectancy, the scientists came to the conclusion that Germany, with 13th place, is also to be rated as mediocre here. A life expectancy of 80 years on average in Germany is not enough to get into the better positions. On the other hand, life expectancy in the first place in Japan is higher than 82 years on average. Switzerland and Italy follow in second and third place.

Bad rating of the German education system
The evaluation of the German education system by the OECD is also worrying. Since only 74 percent of young people in Germany complete vocational training or a degree, Germany comes second to last in the education system assessment. Only Switzerland achieved worse results. The top positions were held in Finland, Denmark and New Zealand, where almost 100 percent of people complete vocational training or study. The only bright spot in terms of quality of life in Germany is provided by ecological factors. Germany achieved a respectable eighth place here. Portugal achieved the top position because the environment is least polluted, which is at least partly due to the low level of development of the Portuguese economy.

Clearly the best development among the OECD member states has taken place in South Korea in the past ten years, which has moved from last to seventh place in the overall ranking due to the sharp rise in incomes and increased life expectancy. However, the OECD scientists have also determined that the average quality of life has increased in all the countries surveyed over the past ten years. (fp, 11.11.2010)

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Photo credit: Wolfgang Pfensig /

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