Standard Of Living

What does 'Standard Of Living' mean

A standard of living is the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area. The standard of living includes factors such as income, quality and availability of employment, class disparity, poverty rate, quality and affordability of housing, hours of work required to purchase necessities, gross domestic product, inflation rate, number of vacation days per year, affordable (or free) access to quality healthcare, quality and availability of education, life expectancy, incidence of disease, cost of goods and services, infrastructure, national economic growth, economic and political stability, political and religious freedom, environmental quality, climate and safety. The standard of living is closely related to quality of life.

BREAKING DOWN 'Standard Of Living'

The standard of living is often used to compare geographic areas, such as the standard of living in the United States versus Canada, or the standard of living in St. Louis versus New York. The standard of living can also be used to compare distinct points in time. For example, compared with a century ago, the standard of living in the United States has improved greatly. The same amount of work buys an increased quantity of goods, and items that were once luxuries, such as refrigerators and automobiles, are now widely available. As well, leisure time and life expectancy have increased, and annual hours worked have decreased.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How does gross domestic product (GDP) affect standard of living?

    Find out how gross domestic product is used to measure standard of living. Find out which alternative metrics rely on GDP ... Read Answer >>
  2. Is the consumer price index (CPI) a cost of living index?

    Explore the consumer price index (CPI) and understand why it is not an actual cost of living index although it is often identified ... Read Answer >>
  3. How is the cost of living index calculated?

    Discover how calculations for cost of living indexes are made based on the average prices of common goods and services between ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between the cost of living and the cost of inflation?

    Increases in the general price level is called inflation, whereas cost of living is an estimate of the cost of an average ... Read Answer >>
  5. Where is cost of living lowest in the world?

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    Learn how consumers pay, on average, nearly 30 percent more for private goods and services in the United Kingdom than in ... Read Answer >>
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