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Domains and Indicators

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The influences on well-being in Ireland, whether from an individual or a societal perspective, are many and complex. In an effort to reduce this complexity, the elements are presented as domains and indicators within the domains. The domains are broad categories, such as the economy, health, and education. The indicators are more specific measures within the respective domains in which they are contained, such as consumer price index (Economy domain), self-perceived health (Health domain), and educational attainment (Education domain). The indicators can represent a general quantitative phenomenon (e.g. Consumer Price Index) or a more personal qualitative experience (e.g. self-perceived health). Indicators can be either subjective or objective measures of well-being.

The eight domains are as follows;

  1. Economy
  2. Work
  3. Education
  4. Housing and Natural Environment
  5. Governance and Equality
  6. Health
  7. Public Safety
  8. Time Use

The domains have been selected based on their importance to well-being and they encompass many of the aspects of life that affect an individual’s everyday life.  They have also been selected to be in line with international best practice where possible, whilst maintaining the balance of remaining relevant to Irish well-being. For example, the economy has an influence on well-being as it can affect the financial position an individual finds themselves in. An individual’s employment status can also affect the economic and psychological levels of that person.

Higher educational and health levels are associated with better levels of personal well-being. Environmental factors such as housing and pollution can influence the health and wellbeing of a person, both directly and indirectly. The governance of a society, how fairly each member of that society feels they are treated, and how safe they feel can influence how people interact with each other, and can have an effect on their personal and work lives. Finally, how each individual uses their time for non-economic purposes has a direct impact on their level of well-being.

The indicators within each domain will be reviewed periodically as more data sources become available to ensure that they provide a relevant portrayal of life in Ireland.

Using a dashboard-style interface, each indicator will include a symbol which will signify its performance. These symbols are;

+ - The ‘plus’ symbol signifies that the performance of the indicator has had a positive influence on well-being over the given time period in Ireland, which will be the year-on-year change or the period between the two most recent observations.

- - The ‘minus’ symbol signifies that the performance of the indicator has had a negative influence on well-being over the given time period in Ireland

= - The ‘equals’ symbol signifies that the performance of the symbol has remained constant, and therefore has had neither a positive nor negative influence on well-being, in the given time period.

Each indicator will be presented with the following;

  • A symbol identifying its performance
  • A graph illustrating its performance
  • A short description of the indicator’s performance.
  • The reason for the inclusion of the indicator

Go to next chapter: Economy