Guide to OECD Social and Welfare Statistics


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Social and Welfare Statistics available via the UK Data Service includes internationally comparable statistics on public and private social expenditure, well being, income distribution and poverty.

Main topics

The database was developed by the OECD in order to serve a growing need for indicators of social policy and comprises the following databases:

  • The OECD Social Expenditure Database (SOCX) has been developed in order to serve a growing need for indicators of social policy. It includes reliable and internationally comparable statistics on public and mandatory and voluntary private social expenditure at programme level. SOCX provides a unique tool for monitoring trends in aggregate social expenditure and analysing changes in its composition. The main social policy areas are as follows: old age, survivors, incapacity-related benefits, health, family, active labour market programmes, unemployment, housing, and other social policy areas.
  • The Income Distribution database contains comparable data on the distribution of household income, providing both a point of reference for judging the performance of any country and an opportunity to assess the role of common drivers as well as drivers that are country-specific. They also allow governments to draw on the experience of different countries in order to learn "what works best" in narrowing income disparities and poverty. But achieving comparability in this field is also difficult, as national practices differ widely in terms of concepts, measures, and statistical sources.
  • The Child Wellbeing dataset compare 21 policy-focussed measures of child well-being in six areas, chosen to cover the major aspects of children’s lives: material well being; housing and environment; education; health and safety; risk behaviours; and quality of school life.
  • The Better Life Index:  There is more to life than the cold numbers of GDP and economic statistics. This Index allows you to compare well-being across countries, based on 11 topics the OECD has identified as essential, in the areas of material living conditions and quality of life.

Access OECD data

Access to the OECD Social and Welfare Statistics via UKDS.Stat  is freely available to all.

Effective July 15th 2015, the UK Data Service made access to OECD online statistics databases free to all users. Please refer to the OECD’s Terms and Conditions, including information on ‘What can you do with OECD published content (data, text and multimedia products).


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