The OECD’s Better Life Index attempts to compare well-being amongst OECD nations using education, housing, environment measures. The Economist has reproduced this graphic, which ranks Australia first, the USA second and Norway third.
On the one hand these types of surveys are useful because they measure social conditions rather than simply material wealth. On the other hand, this particular graphic neglects other socio-economic measures that give a different picture of national well-being.
For example, the Index makes a sweeping statement about gender: “Taking all 11 topics of the BLI into account, the differences between women and men’s well-being are small. However, there are topics where men do much better than women, such as for instance jobs and earnings. Conversely, women fare better than men in health, education, community and life satisfaction.”
This does not really reflect social science data, which show how men and women’s mental health differs according to marital status, life stage, social network support. The 2012 World Development Report compares low, median and high income nations, noting that men in Australia and the USA are over-represented in violent crimes and incarceration. Moreover, domestic inequalities and social welfare distribution mean that these countries are ranked lower than Scandinavian nations. High-res

The OECD’s Better Life Index attempts to compare well-being amongst OECD nations using education, housing, environment measures. The Economist has reproduced this graphic, which ranks Australia first, the USA second and Norway third.

On the one hand these types of surveys are useful because they measure social conditions rather than simply material wealth. On the other hand, this particular graphic neglects other socio-economic measures that give a different picture of national well-being.

For example, the Index makes a sweeping statement about gender: “Taking all 11 topics of the BLI into account, the differences between women and men’s well-being are small. However, there are topics where men do much better than women, such as for instance jobs and earnings. Conversely, women fare better than men in health, education, community and life satisfaction.”

This does not really reflect social science data, which show how men and women’s mental health differs according to marital status, life stage, social network support. The 2012 World Development Report compares low, median and high income nations, noting that men in Australia and the USA are over-represented in violent crimes and incarceration. Moreover, domestic inequalities and social welfare distribution mean that these countries are ranked lower than Scandinavian nations.

Dominant discourse of whiteness in The Economist

Economist-Staff is a website whose sole purpose is to point out white cultural dominance within The Economist, one of the world’s most respected economic publications. The Economist magazine shapes its global economic analyses through highly specific racial, ethnic and linguistic lenses.
The Economist-Staff website began in response to an article in The Economist that attempted to answer “Why are Korean women so good at golf?” The Economist Staff points out that is a problematic question to begin with, let alone the article itself, which reproduces racial and ethnic stereotypes. Check out the rest of the Economist-Staff site, which refutes The Economist's claims that the magazine is about diversity, and that it is “the enemy of privilege, pomposity and predictability”. In the graphics below, we see that one way through which whiteness discourses are perpetuated in the magazine is through the English language.

Languages spoken by The Economist Editorial Staff

*Language list is based on the selection from the staff directory

Specialised Countries & Languages Spoken by Staff


9 of 9
United Kingdom
specialists speak
English

2 of 2
Russia
specialists speak
Russian

3 of 7
China
specialists speak
Chinese

0 of 3
Japan
specialists speak
Japanese

2 of 6
Middle East & North Africa
specialists speak
Arabic

1 of 6
speak
Hebrew

1 of 6
speak
Persian

0 of 5
Sub-Saharan Africa
specialists speak
Afrikaans

3 of 5
speak
French

0 of 5
speak
Swahili

3 of 6
Latin & South America
specialists speak
Portuguese

4 of 6
speak
Spanish

0 of 4
South Asia
specialists speak
Bengali

4 of 4
speak
English

0 of 4
speak
Hindi

0 of 4
speak
Gujarati

*Language lists are alphabetically displayed, and based on the selection from the staff directory

Source: Economist-Staff.