You can tell a lot about a nation’s culture or the state of its society from what it values. Utilizing years of data from the OECD Better Life Index, which surveys 60,000 people across the world, U.K.-based global moving company Movehub has put together a colorful infographic showing what people around the world care about the most. Here it is courtesy of Business Insider.
There are quite a few interesting patterns in these results. Unsurprisingly, societies grappling with high rates of violent crime, such as Honduras and Venezuela, value safety. Most developed countries place a lot of importance on life satisfaction and health, which become more relevant once issues like safety, housing, and income are account for. By the same token, poorer countries were generally, and understandably, more concerned with income, jobs, and health (likely with respect to infectious diseases rather the lifestyle-based health problems that are usually of greater concern in richer countries).
The results were also highly variable and far form consistent across the board; for example; a lot of poor countries highly valued life satisfaction. A lot of these issues are of universal concern regardless of one’s socioeconomic conditions, and one can argue that life satisfaction pretty much accounts for all the other factors — having a good job, work-life balance, a roof over your head, etc.
Personally, I take these results with a grain of salt, given how difficult it is to gauge a society’s overall values from such a relatively small sample size. There are nonetheless still some useful takeaways from the data worth considering or exploring further.
That said, which of these values do you hold most highly? I am personally keener on life satisfaction for the above stated reasons. I am fortunate that my circumstances do not make housing or safety as great a concern as they otherwise would be, and that I enjoy decent enough health and community life.