The Blog with the Search Engine for Statistics

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eat, Sleep, and Read Statistics on International Social Progress

I'm back from my four week hiatus away from civilization. My satellite contract had to be renewed, and to make a long story short, I evaluated other Internet options, none of which were financially feasible, then the satellite dish had to be repositioned to find reception amongst towering trees. It took a few days on the phone (being transferred a zillion times) to a tech person in India (who didn't quite understand how tall the trees actually were) to get the job done. (I thought my addiction to coffee was bad...try not having information at your fingertips for a month!) Well now that I've about that 2009 OECD report?

Couldn't help but click on the Yahoo news feature comparing the eating and sleeping habits between US and France. Live Science had their take on the international OECD report as well, and included a chart with comparisons of sleeping habits between the 18 countries included in the report.

This not-talked-about-enough report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) had a lot more information than just sleeping and eating habits. It stated some common knowledge, like the fact that men have more leisure time than women. (Women certainly don't need statistics to prove it!) But aside from eating, sleeping and leisure time, you'll find data on unemployment, poverty, social and health issues, inequality, demographics and work and life.

These sleeping, eating, and men-have-more-fun-than women statistics came from the OECD's "Society at a Glance 2009 - OECD Social Indicators" report. They have a link for the data and indicators included in this report, but they do indicate there is some privileged information for accredited journalists. (C'mon hackers - help us bloggers out!) I don't know why us lowly bloggers aren't good enough to accumulate a little extra knowledge ($$ comes to mind), but I have to admit there are a lot of nice free statistics in this progress report. They do come in the awkward form of .pdf and .xls files for separate chapters, but the data is useful nonetheless. The data and indicators included are divided into data groups as follows:

1. Headline Social Indicators

2. Measuring Leisure in OECD Countries

3. Interpreting OECD Social Indicators

4. General Context Indicators

Net national income per capita
Fertility rates
Marriage and divorce

5. Self-sufficiency Indicators

Student performance
Not in employment, education or training
Age of labour force exit
Spending on education

6. Equity Indicators:

Income inequality
Poverty among children
Adequacy of benefits of last resort
Public social spending
Total social spending

7. Health Indicators

Life expectancy
Perceived health status
Infant health
Mental health
Long-term care recipients
Health care expenditure

8. Social Cohesion Indicators

Life satisfaction
Work satisfaction
Crime victimisation
Risky behaviour

The OECD website has some great international statistics in other reports as well. Their 2008 annual report is a full free pdf download of 118 pages that covers the world economy and is full of quotable statistics. Elsewhere on the site, you'll find data and statistics on international employment, wages and benefits, and international social expenditures data for the past few years as well. I enjoyed reading this page on world educational statistics. There's also statistics available on their Source Data page, but I believe these are a combination of free statistics and priced statistic resources.

There is also a very nice page of links to other social policy websites that I'm sure are rich with useful (and free) international data and statistics. (If you're interested in more websites with international statistics, there's a lot of links to reputable international statistics in my post on International Relief and Humanitarian Aide statistics.)

This OECD website is great. Pay a visit and browse around if you're looking for international data and statistics. I have to make sure it's included in the statistics search engine I have on this blog, (which, by the way, I've updated recently), so I'm going to post this. Then I'll try and eat and sleep like the French, and steal some of that leisure time from men!

Post Script: While I was testing my search for OECD during my fight with Google Custom Engine (which has made changes not to my liking and my search engine is now likely not to my liking also), I saw that Mr. Warner posted some great links from their website a month ago! Mr. Warner has some OECD regional links and more information on the valuable data at OECD. Now I have to continue hitting my computer with an axe...


Anonymous May 6, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

If you are interested in more of OECD's internationally comparable statistics, the annual OECD Factbook was released a few weeks ago and covers the gamute of social, economic and environment topics. It's freely available at

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Mom of six kids (30, 27, 25, 22, 21, 13) in a far-from-average-statistics family. Freelance SEO Content Writer on the side. If I can help you in any way, shoot me a virtual letter at writerightforyou at gmail dot com.

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