- standard of living
a grade or level of subsistence and comfort in everyday life enjoyed by a community, class, or individual: The well-educated generally have a high standard of living.Also called living standard.[1900-05]
* * *Level of material comfort that an individual or group aspires to or may achieve.This includes not only privately purchased goods and services but collectively consumed goods and services such as those provided by public utilities and governments. A standard of living determined for a group such as a country must be examined critically in terms of its constituent values. If the mean value increases over time, but at the same time the rich become richer and the poor poorer, the group may not be collectively better off. Various quantitative indicators can be used as measuring rods, including life expectancy, access to nutritious food and a safe water supply, and availability of medical care.
* * *in social science, the aspirations of an individual or group for goods and services. Alternatively, the term is applied specifically to a measure of the consumption of goods and services by an individual or group, sometimes called “level of living” (what is) as opposed to “standard” (what is desired). Both include privately purchased items as well as items that lead to an increased sense of well-being but are not under the individual's direct control, such as publicly provided services and the quality of the environment.Some social scientists maintain that a person's desired standard of living is strongly influenced by the consumption patterns of his or her income peers. Because of this, an individual's standard of living may be expected to change as income changes.Difficulties accompany any comparison of living standards between population groups or countries. Care must be taken to distinguish between the average value of some measure of actual consumption and the dispersion around that average. If, for example, the average value increases over time, but at the same time the rich become richer and the poor poorer, it may be incorrect to conclude that the group is collectively better off. Accordingly, it can be difficult to compare standards of living between countries that exhibit widely differing degrees of dispersion. In practice there are wide disparities both within countries and between countries. By most criteria, the differences in living standards between developed and less-developed countries are more acute than the differences that exist between countries with developed economies.These problems occur regardless of what quantitative indicators are chosen to measure the standard of living. Apart from income, useful indicators may include the consumption of certain foodstuffs such as protein, a measure of life expectancy, and access to basic amenities such as a safe water supply. These indexes, however, involve serious problems of comparability between countries and regions, especially since even the most basic data, such as reliable population estimates, may be unavailable for some very poor countries.Monetary (money) measures of living standards tend to omit important aspects of life (e.g., nutrition, life expectancy) that cannot be bought or sold. Other difficulties accompany the use of monetary indicators. For example, the items that are measurable in monetary terms may have been valued at distorted prices. International comparisons using official exchange rates can be misleading, particularly where the foreign exchange market is manipulated by governments. Comparisons over time need to be adjusted for variations in price levels, but this is not always a simple matter, especially given differences in inflation rates between countries. If the relative prices of various goods and services differ substantially between two countries, it is particularly difficult to make a fair comparison of standards of living when they are based on consumption levels.
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standard of living — ˌstandard of ˈliving noun standards of living PLURALFORM [countable usually singular] ECONOMICS the amount of wealth or comfort that a person, group, or country has: • Two incomes are generally required to maintain a decent middle class standard… … Financial and business terms
standard of living — n [C usually singular] the amount of wealth, comfort, and other things that a particular person, group, country etc has = ↑living standard high/low standard of living ▪ a nation with a high standard of living … Dictionary of contemporary English
standard of living — noun singular the type of life that a person or society has according to the amount of money they have: a high/low standard of living: Japan has a very high standard of living … Usage of the words and phrases in modern English
standard of living — ► NOUN ▪ the degree of material comfort available to a person or community … English terms dictionary
standard of living — n. a level of subsistence, as of a nation, social class, or person, with reference to the adequacy of necessities and comforts in daily life … English World dictionary
standard of living — noun a level of material comfort in terms of goods and services available to someone or some group (Freq. 2) they enjoyed the highest standard of living in the country the lower the standard of living the easier it is to introduce an autocratic… … Useful english dictionary
Standard of living — The standard of living refers to the quality and quantity of goods and services available to people, and the way these goods and services are distributed within a population. It is generally measured by standards such as income inequality,… … Wikipedia
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standard of living — n. 1) to raise the standard of living 2) a high; low standard of living 3) a standard of living falls, goes down; goes up, rises * * * goes down goes up low standard of living rises a high a standard of living falls to raise the standard of… … Combinatory dictionary
standard of living — Although there is no single agreed measure for comparing living standards across different countries, there can be no doubt that in absolute terms the standard of living of the average Spaniard has improved beyond recognition in the past… … Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture