Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) International comparisons of welfare data, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 31 January 2023.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2021). International comparisons of welfare data. Retrieved from https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/international-comparisons-of-welfare-data
International comparisons of welfare data. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 16 September 2021, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/international-comparisons-of-welfare-data
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. International comparisons of welfare data [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2021 [cited 2023 Jan. 31]. Available from: https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/international-comparisons-of-welfare-data
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2021, International comparisons of welfare data, viewed 31 January 2023, https://pp.aihw.gov.au/reports/australias-welfare/international-comparisons-of-welfare-data
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Comparing welfare and wellbeing data between countries helps inform policy, planning and decision making. It is also of interest to researchers and the general public to compare Australian experiences on a global scale.
Participating in international efforts to collect and report welfare data can also facilitate cooperation between countries. For example, AIHW provides statistics to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to be collated into its data collections and ongoing work on economic growth.
In May 2021, Costa Rica officially became the 38th official OECD member. The interactive visualisation on this page presents data prior to 2021, and allows data to be compared across 37 OECD Member countries for a range of welfare indicators, highlighting Australia’s international standing. OECD Member countries provide a useful comparison for Australia because almost all have high-income economies (World Bank 2021).
Australia’s welfare indicators also present data for a range of measures at a national level. Collectively, these indicators summarise the performance of Australia’s welfare system, track individual and household determinants of the need for welfare support and provide insights into the nation’s wellbeing status more broadly. Some of the indicators presented on this page are also reported in Australia’s welfare indicators at the national level.
Welfare refers to the wellbeing of individuals, families and the community. The terms welfare and wellbeing are often used interchangeably. See Understanding welfare and wellbeing for important contextual information about factors that influence wellbeing.
This page aims to provide a high-level comparison of international welfare and wellbeing data. For further detail, please refer to the OECD website.
Dashboard that demonstrates Australia’s ranking among OECD member nations, and compared to the OECD average, in selected indicators. Australia’s ranking, the OECD average, and the range of values for each indicator are provided in text.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a major health threat, which has led to substantial disruption across almost all parts of society worldwide. Many countries around the world have introduced restrictions (including travel bans and strong physical distancing policies) to contain the spread of COVID-19. These restrictions continue to have a serious impact on economies and societies across the world, with travel, trade and people’s ability to work, attend school and socialise, all affected (see 'Chapter 3, The impact of COVID-19 on the wellbeing of Australians' in Australia’s welfare 2021: data insights).
As a result of this, the ability to capture and internationally compare welfare and wellbeing data throughout the pandemic may be limited. This is because, in most cases, the latest available international data compiled by the OECD precedes the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, the youth unemployment rate for Australia and the OECD average is based on 2019 data.
The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are also still unfolding internationally. This limits the capacity to identify lasting impacts of COVID-19 on welfare and wellbeing. For example, while this page captures employment during the COVID-19 pandemic, the long-term outcomes and implications are yet to be reflected in the data.
Finally, the measures analysed on this page intend to provide an overview of welfare and wellbeing across countries. Therefore, information presented on this page may not capture more specific outcomes (such as mental health) that are also associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Based on the latest available data:
For more information, see International comparisons of health data.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact economic activity and employment. OECD countries used different methods to address unemployment caused the pandemic, ranging from job retention programs to direct payments. About 60 million people across the OECD are included in company claims for these programmes (OECD 2021c).
Based on the latest available data:
For more information on international comparisons of welfare data, see:
OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) 2021a. Better Life Index in OECD.Stat. Paris: OECD. Viewed 18 January 2021.
OECD 2021b. Educational attainment and labour-force status in OECD.Stat. Paris: OECD. Viewed 22 January 2021.
OECD 2021c. Employment Outlook 2020. Paris: OECD. Viewed 29 January 2021.
OECD 2021d. Foreign-Born Population. Paris: OECD. Viewed 10 June 2021.
OECD 2021e. Greenhouse gas emissions in OECD.Stat. Paris: OECD. Viewed 15 April 2019.
OECD 2021f. Gross domestic product (GDP). Paris: OECD. Viewed 10 June 2021.
OECD 2021g. ICT Access and Usage by Households and Individuals in OECD.Stat. Paris: OECD. Viewed 10 June 2021.
OECD 2021h. Income inequality in OECD Data. Paris: OECD. Viewed 22 January 2021.
OECD 2021i. Long-term unemployment rate. Paris: OECD. Viewed 10 May 2021.
OECD 2021j. Short-Term Labour Market Statistics in OECD.Stat. Paris: OECD. Viewed 22 January 2021.
OECD 2021k. Unemployment rate by age group. Paris: OECD. Viewed 10 May 2021.
OECD 2021l. Youth not in employment, education or training (NEET) (indicator). Paris: OECD. Viewed 22 January 2021.
OECD 2020m. How's Life? 2020: Measuring Well-being, Paris: OECD. Viewed 10 June 2021
UN (United Nations) 2020. Total Dependency Ratio. New York City: UN. Viewed 21 January 2021.
WHO (World Health Organisation) 2021. Life expectancy and Healthy life expectancy in GHO data repository. Geneva: WHO, Viewed 21 January 2021.
World Bank 2021. World Bank Country and Lending Groups. Washington D.C.: World Bank. Viewed 15 January 2021.
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