Regional Development

Framework to measure regional and local well-being


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The framework for regional and local well-being starts with the consideration that making better policies for better lives requires making where people live a better place.

What do people perceive and value about their local conditions? How do they behave when they are not satisfied with one aspect or more of their life? Do local inequalities in the accessibility of services matter in shaping citizens’ choices and do they have an impact on national well-being? How much does the place where we live predict our future well-being? These are some of the questions that need to be addressed.


The OECD conceptual framework to measure well-being in regions and cities has the following features:

  • It focuses on individuals and on place-based factors, as people’s well-being is shaped by a combination of individual and places’ characteristics.

  • It is influenced by citizenship, institutions and governance.

  • It is multi-dimensional and includes material and non-material dimensions. It looks at synergies and trade-offs among the different dimensions.

  • It considers well-being distribution in the population and in places, alongside the average outcomes.

  • It concentrates on results that provide direct information on people’s lives rather than inputs or outputs.

  • It looks at the sustainability of well-being over time and at the resilience of different regions.

Regional well-being conceptual framework

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Nine well-being dimensions have been identified and a set of indicators developed for the 362 OECD regions. This set of indicators can also serve as a common reference for regions that aim to develop their own metrics of well-being. The availability of indicators comparable across regions and countries can be useful not only for benchmarking the relative position of a place, but also as a catalyst for policy-makers, to spur public support for action and to create a mechanism for prioritising resources.

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